Category Archives: Motivation

2015 is Welcome

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We have officially welcomed the new year and are starting a new time in our lives.  This is mostly a time of reflection on the past year and an opportunity to set goals for the year to come.  And, although I believe change can be initiated at any time as long as the motivation is there, I also believe the new year serves as a good marker to indicate each person’s progress.  In terms of reflection, I have learned two things during the past year… perfection is nearly impossible and welcome change because it is inevitable.

As humans, we don’t like to accept the flaws in ourselves, in our environments, and in our lives, but, as soon as we stop expecting perfection, we will be much happier with our situations.  For example, as we enter a new year, we set our resolutions and look forward in the hopes of a perfect year, but, as the year goes on, things happen that don’t fit into a perfect year plan.  However, imperfections are natural.  It is how we react to these unforeseen “bumps,” which will determine how good your year will actually be.  Mortality, break ups, disagreements, and rejections are all bound to be a part of the new year.  They are all bound to evoke change and change is inevitable, but it is not always bad.

When a person dies, we who are still alive mourn their death.  We miss them, we’re hurt, and, sometimes, we’re surprised.  These are natural responses to death, but they are also selfish.  Though we must grieve and take time to cope with loss in a healthy manner, eventually, we must understand that our loved one was in pain.  They were suffering and, although no new memories will be made, we can be grateful for the memories we do have.

In break ups you must think “is it possible that two people are better off apart than together?”  Was the relationship positive and productive?  Break ups are most difficult because the drastic change scares us.  You are single again, you’ll eventually need to date again, and you’ll need to trust in another person all over again.  Essentially, all of the “progress” you’ve made seems wasted and you’re back to square one.  However, a lot of good can come from a creak up.  It can be an end to what was actually a toxic relationship, it can be a chance for you to explore a relationship with a more compatible partner, and it can force you to mature into a better person.

With these examples, my point is to welcome change because there is always a plus no matter how low this change make you feel.  The same goes for disagreements, rejection, pressure, and anything else that may have forced a shift or some kind of change in your life.  Your perspective may have changed, you may have learned something new, or you may have reached something you never thought was possible.  Simply embrace the change.

The past year been a rocky one with plenty of highs, lows, and overall change.  Can I say I had  perfect year?  Absolutely not, but I can point out enough great things that happened in the past 365 days allowing me to say 2014 was still a good year.

As for this upcoming year, I can’t say it will be perfect (and I can’t expect it to be either), but I can say it will be a good year filled with positive change.  I have my goals set and I know the direction I would like to move toward (which is mostly driven by positive thinking), but I will welcome whatever comes my way and will do everything I can to make every experience a positive one.  I hope you all will do the same and I hope 2015 is good to you.

Blatino

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.

I dance to drum beats

with my bare feet.

I was born in the heat

and I am made of dark meat.

My hair is thick,

my hips make them sick,

and they wish

they could be just as slick.

We all eat the same fruit.

We are all seen as strange fruit.

Our tongues

may not understand each other,

but I am still a sister

and he is still my brother.

Bomba, plena, and santería

all derive from your same

rhythms and religion.

We were all stripped

of the choice

to make a decision.

We all lost our voice.

Together,

we make up the hues

of all the rainbows.

That’s just how it goes.

It takes two of us

to equal one and then some,

which is why we must

remain united as one.

An ocean stands between

and you may consider me

lost at sea,

but there simply

is no denying

you are the root of my being.

.

Wake Up!

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When people say “history repeats itself,” it’s natural to agree, but, the truth is, you never think you’ll actually experience it happening. It’s thought to be more of a retrospective statement. This year marked the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, yet it is tragically ironic how there have recently been one too many public cases concerning the violation of human rights. It almost seems like nothing has changed.

Among the most recent cases, a teenager was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, MO. He was unarmed. He had no criminal record. He was practically a child. This incident reminded people of the Trayvon Martin case and only made people feel more strongly about the tense race issues in our country. The worst part is that the case in Ferguson isn’t the only example of current injustice within the police department.

In recent months, there has been a push to raise awareness about police brutality, mainly aimed at minorities, along with the inappropriate disciplinary actions taken or not taken to correct the behavior of those officers. I’m not saying all police officers are guilty of abusing their power and I’m not saying the human rights laws we currently have are inherently bad, but I am saying the system is seriously flawed.

There is a serious problem when unarmed citizens who are not resisting law enforcement are hurt or killed by the people who are supposed to be protecting them. There are too many loop holes, there is not enough follow up, and there are too many people dying for nothing to be done. There is a problem when my friends, all of whom are college educated with no criminal records and were raised in middle class neighborhoods (contrary to the stereotypical listeners of Public Enemy supporters), don’t trust the police. Why do they fear the police? They do so because they are minorities and they believe racism is still a huge factor in how officers handle their job. It was even a couple of weeks ago that I was listening to the radio and they had a guest come on to the show to give tips on how to survive an encounter with police officers. It made me feel like we are living in a revolutionary time. Like I said, I don’t fault all cops, but I also can’t say I exactly feel safe when I see a patrol car pass by.

However, keep in mind I’m not trying to make this about race because, although racism is a huge factor in this issue, human rights is what lies at the base of it all. Unfortunately, not enough people are color blind in our country. Organizations are checking to see if they’ve met their “blackness” for the day, news sources try to include “white” news in an attempt to please the majority, and paperwork still asks what your race or ethnicity is. If we are truly “one nation under God,” then why so much division? A friend of mine said it best. He said “no more race,” trying to say everything is for everyone, which is how it should be.

Human rights should be a universal, unconditional born right. People should not have to “fight” for their rights, whether they are Black, Hispanic, male, female, gay, straight, or even a minor. Our country’s government, as a “free nation,” should provide this to us all and protect our human rights. We are all humans living in this “free” country, so we deserve to live without fear. However, this is not entirely the case right now, which has started the Wake Up Movement.

50 years after our parents and grandparents demanded a change for better, it is time for our generation to wake up those who don’t realize there is more room to progress and we shouldn’t be complacent with our “progress.” My social media has been blowing up with this movement, people are trying to peacefully protest worldwide, and high profile names are now getting involved to do what they can to influence the new generation. The cyber activist group, Anonymous, has even gotten involved, threatening the police department to allow citizens to protest peacefully. It was Anonymous’ message that made me realize we are witnessing history and it is up to us to stop or continue the pattern. Either way, it’s time to do something and wake up.

What Comes First?

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Raise your hand if you have a job. Raise your other hand if you go to school. Stand up if you have friends. Take a step forward if you’re in a relationship. Step to the left if you have a family. Take a step back if you have bills you need to pay. Step forward again if you have a hobby. Step back again if you need a break. Did you get all of that? Are you tired? Are you confused? Well, that’s life. Life is full of so many different components that require your attention that it’s mentally exhausting and it’s hard trying to keep track of everything. So what do you do? You figure out what comes first and cut out all of the bullsh!t. If you don’t need it, why keep it?

First, you need to evaluate your priorities. What should come first? It could be school, work, or even just finding time to yourself, but you need to identify your priority and why it’s your priority. For example, for a long time, my priority was to do well in school and to graduate as soon as possible. I knew I wanted to have a strong career and that getting an education was the first step. Your priority could be to get a job in order to gain experience for a better job, to buy a car, or own a home. Your priority could also be to relax because you don’t want to have a mental breakdown that keeps you from doing anything at all. The point is that you need to figure out what is most important to you and why. As soon as you figure that out, organize your life to help you focus on your priority. Of course, you don’t want to become a workaholic or a studying hermit, so you want to maintain some balance, but you do have to rearrange some things so that you can achieve your goals. Hence cut out what you don’t need.

When you reflect on your life, where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to be, it helps put everything into perspective. You realize what really matters and what deserves your energy, so you stop stressing out about the little things and instead pay attention to what is important to you. Sometimes we get lost in the confusion of our lives. There’s so much going on that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and we end up losing ourselves a little. What’s worst is when the lives and priorities of those around us overshadow our own priorities. You start to question your own judgment, while focusing on the negative, so you usually end up shifting your life based off of another person’s opinion. Now, you’re one step further away than you were in the first place. This is why it’s so important to know what you want, so that you can stay focused on what matters. Once you realize what comes first, nothing else matters.

2014 ESPYS Must See (Part 1)

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The 2014 ESPY Awards were last week and, although there were many great moments including Drake’s hilarious skits, I wanted to highlight two of my favorite moments.  They are emotional, inspirational, and motivational, which is why I wanted to make sure all of you got a chance to see them.  The first of my must see moments is Stuart Scott’s acceptance of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award.  I’ll be posting my second favorite moment tomorrow.