August 18, 2017

MAKE YOUR MARK TODAY! – not later, right now!

 

Are you bringing the passion?

Are you pursuing the matters of your heart?

Your parents provided for you. Your family goes to great lengths, so that you can be better than fifty percent.

Three things you have got to do to LEAVE your MARK on this EARTH –

  • Accept what you cannot change. Some things are just the way they are because they are. Stressing over what you cannot control becomes wasted energy.
  • Understand your time frame and realize the goal will take longer than you ever expect. Be patient, however long it takes. Do not live in your time frame. Live in God’s time frame.
  • The process requires commitment. Through the pain, through the suffering, through the clinical depression, trust the process. This third step is the most important of the listed three, because if you rush the process of your own character development, then you will fall short of your goals every time. Let the process take its course!

With these three steps are actively in your life, you will SUCCEED! You will leave your MARK! You will follow through until you CROSS THE FINISH LINE!

Make the choice. Make the decision. Live to appreciate the moment. Accept what is. Do not worry about the time frame. Learn from the process.

Progress, Not Perfection Leads to Success – KEEP moving FORWARD!

By February of our New Year’s resolution plan and goals, we realize we are not perfect in the pursuit to overcome and define our new inner ambitions and lifestyle we hoped for on January 1st. We feel ashamed when we cannot perform at our preconceived absolute best. Responsibilities set in. Bills need to be paid. And the family still needs caring. To resolve any improvement in the everyday routine calls for baby steps….easy and small wins….before charging the battle field in longer strides.

It is not just absolute perfection that brings change. Rather the force behind habitual development is progress seen in a positive outlook – praising the positives of achievement over the negatives of falling short of short-term unrealistic greatness. The reality of change for our own betterment necessitates a persistent time frame. One day and moment at a time growth occurs.

Our baby steps become longer, farther, and easier with each day that passes, as we cannot lose vision of the master plan we accomplish by the end of the year. Your progress hinges on realistic outcomes to improve slowly, moment by moment, over time. It requires hard work, real hard work. Momentum snow balls with continued breakthroughs. In finality with forward perspectives, progress matters more than perfection.

e066a689dc69371b42e491007141b52a

Never give into the critics! Be you for yourself!

 “Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.” -Joyce Meyer

KEEP SCROLLING – This is good preaching right here!

“Joy-stealers” – I love this saying! I think that noun accurately describes the worst of our critics. For instance, asking girls out, submitting book proposals, working daily with volunteers, and pursuing the greatness upon me, rejections face me almost every day with a “No” and/or a continuous negative person.

I try my best to never listen to those full of their own words. Some know not what they talk about. You cannot take it personally. Some will always become critical of everything, everyone, and every action, no matter what you do.

You-Are-Beautiful

If you feel content the way you are, then you are excellent just the way you are. If those around speak negative in bad attitudes and criticism, then who cares what those individuals think? You know the opinions of those you truly respect, those that care for you and whose intentions continue forward as pure. The way you view yourself is the most important matter with your own confidence.

lovemyself5-4

Do not apologize to anyone for who you are. I think we live in an “apology culture” when everyone feels obligated to say “Sorry” for simple tasks that warrant no apology. We remain a sensitive culture when sometimes we better serve those around us with toughness. If you pursue the greatness upon you with a true vision and no regrets, then fulfillment occurs with your very best.

You may not reach the level of goals and accomplishments you seek; however if given your best, then self-satisfaction stands at its highest levels.

accept-yourself

“You can never date that girl, James!”

“You do not sleep enough, James!”

“You cannot learn to play the guitar, sing, and dance with two jobs and a business!”

“You cannot finish a second masters with all currently on your plate!”

“You cannot traditionally publish, speak professionally across the country, and work a day job!”

I have heard every criticism in my life, from every critic existent in this country, but at this point, it only motivates me further to fulfill the goals those who say I cannot accomplish the tasks above.

With no risk or the higher level reached for, there is no reward. You reap what you sow. You earn what you work for. Never listen to the negative criticism. Be yourself. And reach for the higher heights before you that you stand worthy. God deserves your very best. So let’s give it to him! “Greatness is upon you, and you better act like it!”

(Last line – quote by Eric Thomas.)

Our own worst enemy – the voice of doubt remains far from invincible! Fight forward.

“If it was easy, everybody would do it!” – Eric Thomas

I want readers to know this: when I write an entry of this kind, I write to myself just as much as I write to you. The message serves my conscious just perhaps as much as yours.

Over time, I learned that the worst enemy to success stands in my own reflection. I am my own worst enemy. The hidden doubts in mind come from within. The excuses I make only point to me.

The laziness of any one person hits the snooze button. We all experience weary emotions from a good day’s work, but the average eight hours versus an average twelve-eighteen hours separate the average from the extraordinary. Change for your betterment requires hard work and longer hours than the normal person.

When tired in the art of pursuit, your find out what makes your DNA….whether we possess perseverance….and just how bad we want the goal before us.

I face this challenge almost every single day of my life. I desire the very best that God has for me; however sometimes I lack the will to push through the lack of experienced, emotional motivation, what I feel. Do not base your motivation on a feeling. Those who are truly motivated are the ones who do whatever it is they need to do, even when they do not want to, without excuse or explanation.

They do it anyway. We, as destined men and women who yearn for success, must do it anyway.

If the pursuit for success was easy, everybody would do it. However success is not easy. It is adverse. It is bumpy. It is extremely difficult. The odds stack against us, but with a Creator who works for us, we struggle well to overcome the adversity before us.

Fight the enemy within. Eventually the positive thoughts will outshout the negative. If you seek successful change in your life, the choice is up to you! No one else will work in your stead to walk your dreamful goals.

It perplexes me how much I daily hear people complain about the challenges before them and how they want something different. I want to shake their shoulders, look into their eyes, and say, “Do it!”

If you are not willing to work two jobs to get out of debt, you don’t want change bad enough. If you are not willing to exercise to lose weight, then you don’t want change in fitness bad enough. If you desire a better marriage but refuse to go to counseling, then you don’t want that relationship to work out bad enough.

Don’t offer me excuses. Don’t offer me more lousy explanations. As the Nike motto goes, stop your whining and just do it….one step at a time….fight forward! That inner voice of doubt is far from invincible! In fact, that voice is a small pebble when compared to the boulder of success you could become.

The worst adversary of every person lies in the person you see in the mirror.

Your real work ethic leads to the better definition of skills. Mastership of artistry requires hours and hours of intentional workmanship.

)

Personal Reflections – Thoughts from Corpus Christi, Texas – Finding The Better Me….

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Eric Thomas inspires me again as he mentions the importance of knowing who we are.

I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas from Atlanta, Georgia in December of last year. The move was and still is hard on me. I remain 1200 miles from those I care most for, in a place still strange to me, with only a few folks I could really reach out to in the case of an emergency.

When the Good Lord Above removes us to a remote location from everything we know, there exists one inevitable truth in my current path: exponential personal growth. In three short months, I learned more about James Cartee than I experienced in the last eighteen months combined. When you stand alone on your own feet in an island only surrounded by strangers, you change, in my case, for my own betterment.

I accomplished some feats and personal decisions I, originally, was not sure I could.

Last year I overcame great obstacles with a major who said, “I was not good enough.” I faced heartache in a potential significant other who mentioned, “I’m sorry. I like you. However this is not going to work.” To say the least, communication was not her strongest asset. I faced personal battles with the terminal illness of cancer in loved ones. I wondered for direction, something I never really struggled with in the past until last year.

The bewilderment of continuous rejection never stopped; however somewhere with my own tenacious spirit, I never stopped trying for the right opportunity. Two outcomes exist with rejection: it will crush, or it will make you stronger for the challenges before you. As the old saying goes, what does not kill only makes us stronger.

With the support of my father in a quick moving trip, we traveled across the country to a unique place called Corpus Christi, Texas. The opportunities that surfaced as a result of the move indeed continue to affirm God’s presence here in this unknown place with me. I am not alone, and that assurance feels good.

I continue to search for community. I continue to build relationships. I continue to learn a new occupation. I continue to date in search of the one.

However I once again feel a hope that long disappeared from my life. I feel built up in a year of growing pains. I feel I am on the rise in a new adventure.

And most importantly, I might just have discovered what I want to do with the rest of my own life.

In personal reflections on a new life location, I embrace the new me. In the most mysterious of circumstances, sometimes the best things in life come when least expect them to.

This talk at a TED conference also informs on how we better ourselves by knowing ourselves. The speaker makes several interesting points about authenticity of a person’s individual personality. 

A message from the heart – COMMITMENT – Follow through on your word!

This is a blog entry I worked on for a few weeks. I tried to lighten the language; however it remains forthright. I believe all my readers experienced something familiar with my words below. I hope that you feel my emotions in these heartfelt words.

commitment-either-you-do-or-you-dont-there-is-no-in-between

This past year I paid a few individuals to complete some personal projects where I took risks with dreams moving forward, with resources I did not even necessarily have. At the time, the costs were painstaking to unload a few hundred dollars on disappointing endeavors.

Both projects fell through long before the finish line, without any type of refund given to me, and I quickly experienced the truisms of flakes who cannot keep their word with expressed commitments.

I do not commit to something I personally cannot complete. I live by this personal mantra because I clearly remember the flakes that dropped off the planet, when I really needed them to keep a promise.

Some people often wonder why they do not personally succeed. I think three reasons come to mind for a mystery that baffles some.

1.) Those plagued by lack of success sweat the small things. Insignificant details carry more stress than those things should. Instead of focusing on the goal, focus becomes lost in the things that don’t matter.

2.) They do not want it bad enough. The price to pay is too much. So the goal is never attempted.

3.) They make up excuses every time they talk about the very goal they want to succeed with. At the end of the day, they simply believe they can’t complete the task before them.

When I approached one guy about finishing the freelance job mentioned before, all I received was excuse after excuse. Then, three months after never finishing the deadline given, he asked me for more money to complete and start over what he did not do in the first place.

“My baby kept me awake all night.” “The holiday season is busy for my family.” “I do not know how to complete that task.” “I hate my day job.” “My wife is in school.” “These people are coming to visit this weekend.” “We are going to visit these people this weekend.” “I need to take my car to the shop.” “My Internet access is really slow.” – I have mercy for a few excuses for even a few weeks, but after awhile, it just gets old!

My simple solution is this – do not commit if you cannot finish whatever it is asked of you! Some people cannot say, “No,” when that is the best higher ground to take. Rather than lose a friendship, demonstrate your flakiness, or have someone write a blog entry like this about you, it is okay to be honest upfront and simply say, “No.”

Commit to what you want in life with everything you have. If you give someone your word, follow through! Don’t sweat the small stuff! Stop excusing yourself for your own letdowns!

And finally decide how bad you want it. If you find yourself constantly doubting a supposed passion in the pursuit, then you were never really committed to that specific something in the first place.

Those who succeed at the highest levels see a project through to the finish line, even when they do not want to, or worse, even when those around them say they cannot do it.

One of my favorite motivational speakers, Eric Thomas, further contributes to my thoughts on commitment in the following video.

Desperation Defines Me – A desire to succeed at unprecedented levels!

“The value in my room is neither my television nor my bank note. The value in my room is myself! Why? Because even if I lose everything I have, but still get me, I am coming back with full passion and desperation to climb the unclimbed hills again and again!” ― Israelmore Ayivor

Recently, a new friend said the following to me: “James, you seem to so desperate all the time. You do not want people to think you are desperate.” Knowing this individual well, I knew that she meant no specific harm or hurt other than constructive critique. She was not trying to be mean but certainly does not always approve of my overdrive “go hard” approach to life. Better described, going after what I seek with all-my-being, rubbed this individual the wrong way….a blunt and honest approach to just go for whatever you want and desire.

Just do it. Sometimes others prefer subtlety to just “let things happen,” as she put it.

I posed this question, “Do you want to win the lottery?” Of course, she said, “Yes, who wouldn’t?” Then I further added, “Well, you have to buy a lottery ticket to actually win the lottery.” She scratched her head in deep thought, and after a few seconds with a deep sigh, she concluded the conversation with “I get it. I know why you do what you do now.”

I did not really think much about the commentary until today. I realized I considered her critique of my personality a compliment, rather than taking it personally as an emotional criticism.

My readers know that I am desperate to succeed and live a life above average potential. Living with a desperate hope to succeed requires hard work and sacrifice. That is why I work on a Saturday night on other endeavors beyond my day job. Success requires long hours, beyond the 5:00 pm clock punch out. After church tomorrow, I will hit the keyboard again as I usually do on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.”  -Eric Thomas

I firmly believe in this quote above. Success does not come to those who wait on it. Success comes to those who practice firm discipline to work harder than anyone else to achieve whatever it is they seek. Success requires some level of desperation.

The Hip Hop artist and personal friend of mine, Young and Talented (aka Yt), from Tallahassee, Florida, recently tweeted this past week:

Yt ‏@SuperFlySuperY Jan 23 – “What most people find insulting, I take as a compliment.”

While some might have found my friend’s previous comment insulting, I found it praiseworthy that perhaps I am in the right place to succeed. While I seek a balance with rest, I am okay working after-hours, sometimes late into the night. I know that in the future, I will reach a level of personal fulfillment that many people give up on, in the survival of a day job to just pay bills. You and I were made for greatness. I think that mentality becomes realized when you live in desperation for something greater than yourself, unlimited, untapped potential for success.

This video illustrates the importance of unstoppable, quiet desperation!

NOW IS YOUR TIME – Greatness is upon you!

I discovered most recently with new challenges, new locations, and new starts that my perspective dictates my performance in the pursuit of both personal and career development. I can soak in the lessons before me in the new opportunities I face, or on the other hand, I can continue to believe that the grass will always be greener on the other side (meaning: thinking that the best of a future moment will outlast the future of a current moment).

Now is your time to live. Now is your moment to breathe fully to press forward through the stress. Now is your time to become great. Apply for the job you want. Ask the girl or guy you like, out to coffee or dinner. Who cares if rejection faces you? Just ask. Just go. Just do. You may not succeed the first time, the second time, the third time, or even the 100th time.

However, will you give up in the moment you want to walk home? Will you give up when you think you no longer go on? Or will you envision the dream in your mind? Will you pursue what you really want?

Greatness is upon you right now! And you better act like it!

You are reading this blog entry in this moment, wondering, “Can I do this?”

“Is this guy for real?

“Is my dream doable?”

Yes, yes, and yes. I write these bold words because I faced my own doubts in the mirror more times than I remember. But then something miraculous happened….I prayed, “I no longer can, but together with God, we can.” I no longer stood as a warrior of one but rather a team of a powerful combination with two, remembering the best friend I possess in Christ.

I act boldly on many accords, sometimes seen foolishly in the eyes of others. Regardless of boldness or the foolishness perceived, I live joyfully open to laughs, smiles, and worlds changed because I do not seek affirmation in what others judge of me. I know who I am, created to be great, fresh, and maybe even sometimes full of outlandish ideas, conversation, and compliments to get the girl.

At the end of the day, I cannot please everyone. However if I am okay with me and my perception of self, I believe Jesus placed me (and you) right where I (you) need to be, before an audience of one.

 

This speech from the movie, Miracle, always fires me up. “Great moments are born from great opportunities.” With God, will you finish whatever challenge lies before you?

Failure in Resolution Makes for Success! GREATNESS IS UPON YOU….with one more try….one more step….your moment comes….

What do you remember about 2013? If you look at your past 2013 Google search criteria and lists, I think it gives a good idea of what we focus our minds often on.

Like the men in the video above, I am also a victim of my own self-defeat. I failed many times to reach where I am today and will continue to fail many more in the future.

When we do not reach a resolution and/or we make too many mistakes reaching to attain that resolution, we give up. We stop trying. We think it is too hard. And then with one more year that passed, we give up on all the changes we sought to resolve on a list at the beginning of a new year.

While hard to admit, I failed many more times than I succeeded. Situations and people rejected me far more than acceptance extended with an open door. If you never reach or feel defeat, then you have never really lived. If you never failed, then I am not sure you are human.

In order to maintain resolution in your life, you must first fail. In order to resolve any matter that necessitates change or improvement, pain becomes part of the process.

While I write these words for the blog audience, I write to myself as much as I write to you. These words bring meaning to my life to reach for higher heights!

I turned a huge massive bulletin board into a list of my New Year’s wishes. I listed tasks, skills, and attained accomplishments that will only be possible with God. I wanted to personally think the following in prayer before the year actually began, “This is impossible, only to know it was possible with a God who grants the impossible.”

We must maintain a certain mental stamina when we seek greatness in the name of a belief. We cannot make more excuses. We cannot offer further explanations for why “things did not work out.” We must be confident in our decisions and stick to it. We must accept failure. And we must realize that with failure forward, GREATNESS IS UPON YOU!

I say and write this firmly again:

GREATNESS IS UPON YOU!

In the video below, this motivational speaker reminds Auburn University of this truth, just one season before the miracle that occurred this year. (For those of you who do not follow football, Auburn University plays this year for the national championship after a terrible and embarrassing season of losing almost losing every game last year).

Freedom in Choice – Make A Decision! Move Forward!

Psalm 119: 105-112 (The Message)

By your words I can see where I’m going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back
from living by your righteous order.
Everything’s falling apart on me, God;
put me together again with your Word.
Festoon me with your finest sayings, God;
teach me your holy rules.
My life is as close as my own hands,
but I don’t forget what you have revealed.
The wicked do their best to throw me off track,
but I don’t swerve an inch from your course.
I inherited your book on living; it’s mine forever—
what a gift! And how happy it makes me!
I concentrate on doing exactly what you say—
I always have and always will.

Do you stand still in time because you cannot make a steadfast decision? When we anticipate a major decision coming forth before us, something free occurs when we finally decide whatever lies before us.

I typically know in my gut what right direction I need to take. I believe that is the ease of right decisions – we tend to know what we need to do. A spiritual gut kicks in, through faith practiced. Those choices just feel right. Sometimes, with doubt, the process becomes a matter of confirmation through prayer, meditation, and intentional counsel.

Now where all of us go wrong at some point in life involves hints of doubtful temptations. We experience a rear view mirror moment, possibly with regret. My advice through experience simplifies here: Doubt will kill you as a person, if the negativity of decisions made constantly swarms your mind more so than anything else.

My cure for the doubt disease stands true every time: Stand your ground! You made the right decision! Embrace movement forward with confidence that we all did right by our standard of choice. We can only change the future. The past stays in the past. It no longer shackles because today becomes our moment of focus. Today becomes our mindset.

There is a new lifelong freedom in the idea to make firm decisions, without falling into human doubts. Do not stand still. Make a decision. Move forward. When you choose a path and act, in that moment, you take the first step to become the person you always dreamed to be.

It is time to decide, to make the rest of your life, the best of your life (Eric Thomas Saying). Forward we move towards our better and greater destinies.

Find inspiration from Eric Thomas here to make a decision with your own life’s journey.