Major Keys

Anything I’ve achieved in my life thus far has been directly or indirectly attributed to actions I manifest into practice. Throughout my life I’ve succeeded, failed, and succeeded again. The trajectory to accomplishing any goal is never linear and assuredly inconsistent. One thing that has remained the same for me are the processes I’ve followed to hit my targets. Anyone remotely familiar with social media or Hip Hop is well aware of DJ Khaled routinely espousing affirmations he considers as major keys to success. Some of Khaled’s more renowned recommendations include, “always take your best shot” and “don’t let anyone put time on you”. All practical advice as short clips on Instagram or Snapchat, but life changing when actually applied. Akin to the media personality, I’ve adopted my own habits that have led to personal prosperity.

“How you product of a God and you worship a man? I was God in the flesh before I drove a Mulsanne. Five keys of gold sittin' on my neck in the frame. Surrounded by Black women, West African king.” - Killer Mike

Listening To My Wife

This is one practice that I’ve failed at several times, mostly to my own detriment. This key is at the very top of my priority list, because this sheer act alone causes all of the other practices to fall in line. Julia is highly intelligent, uses empathy regularly, and has the business acumen of a Fortune 500 CEO. I may not fully agree with everything she says, but I’ve committed to fully listening and applying it. Who better to get feedback or solicit advice from than someone that knows you extremely well? The biggest decisions I’ve made with the greatest outcomes were from conversations with Julia. Some of the most colossal blunders that have befallen upon me were when exactly? If you guessed, when I didn’t listen to my wife, then go reward yourself with a prize. Now, if your wife (or partner) is not a good counselor or gives sound advice, then maybe, just maybe, you didn’t make a quality decision in selecting your spouse. It stings when you read it, but it’s not devoid of the truth.

Going To Therapy Regularly

I can’t stress enough how transformative therapy has been for me with a licensed clinician that looks like me. Through therapy, I’ve dealt with my trauma, gained a better understanding of my triggers, gained tools to master emotional intelligence, and found positive solutions to conflict. Therapy is not the master key, it won’t unlock any door unless you’re actively doing the work. Having a trained professional that’s available to listen to me and give proven tools on how to resolve my issues has given me an advantage in my own race to personal success.

Giving Up Alcohol

Being alcohol free and maintaining an alcohol conscious lifestyle has been one of the most challenging and easiest feats I’ve accomplished in life. Challenging in the sense that I had to sacrifice something that provided me temporary pleasure for long-term prosperity. Abstaining from alcohol has been easy in just focusing on the multitude of things I’m gaining through giving up something that assumed to hold so much weight. I’ve realized if I have the discipline to give up something that was seemingly a part of my identity, then I can achieve anything. Abstaining from consuming alcohol has liberated me in more ways than I care to share here, but I don’t have a single regret while on this journey.

Consistent Physical Activity

Whether it’s training for another half marathon, lifting weights, or doing yoga, I’m doing something. With positive outcomes, I’ve allowed exercising to steer my mood. Stressed from work? Go for a run. Kids giving you hell? Grab a couple of dumbbells and put some work in. Besides a more peaceful mood, consistent physical activity has granted me better sleep at night, more focus during the work day, and a constructive alternative to managing stress. Success is built through consistent habits that eventually lead to actions that don’t require inspiration or motivation to complete. For me, exercising has provided much needed balance in my life to help bring some form of calm when everything around me is chaos.

Seeking Help

No one, and I mean absolutely no one, has achieved success single handedly. We’ve all needed some form of help from others in some fashion to achieve our goals. Whether your parents helped fund a business pursuit, a friend looking over your resume, or collaborating with a peer to push a project to completion, we’ve all needed help. I’ve humbled myself on many occasions throughout my life to seek help from people in industries that I was looking to break into or assistance with tasks that I clearly wasn’t qualified to undertake. I’ve asked for help early and often. Similar to a bank account, I’ve managed to balance my transactions as much as possible. I’ve offered help, given advice, and supported others in numerous ways. Our pride often stunts our potential, while the humility of seeking help rewards ourselves and others.

Anything worth achieving requires a sacrifice of some sort. That could include giving something up for the betterment of reaching your objective or making yourself uncomfortable to accomplish a goal. Neither choice is easy. Not working towards our goals is challenging too. It’s truly up to us to decide which type of challenge is acceptable. Having the discipline to stick to a budget for financial freedom is challenging. Conversely, living paycheck to paycheck and in perpetual debt is challenging as well. What struggle makes the most sense for you? Humbling yourself to reach out to a peer or even someone younger than you for advice is challenging, yet those fleeting moments of being uncomfortable pales in comparison to being further along on your journey. The major key lies in creating habits, affirmations, or practices that require discipline or uneasiness in order to achieve whatever you deem as success. The journey is the destination.