I would like for anyone reading this week’s post to take a minute and mourn the summer. It was at times enjoyable as the rays of our nearest star was abrasive. With school now officially in full effect, it reminds me of some of the lessons I learned this summer. First and foremost, black people need to wear sunscreen. Keep listening to all you favorite internet personalities if you want to, but Amun-Ra will burn your ass if you’re not at least using SPF 30. Second, the most insignificant things can start gender wars on social media. City Boys up by 78 points in the third quarter, but I’m not keeping score. The final lesson I learned this summer, is we generate our own obstacles through focusing on challenges rather than solutions.
I’ve realized that the person that I’m building myself into cannot always rely on self-reflection. I need feedback to see myself from others in my life to help me continue on the path of self-betterment. For me it came from my wife letting me know that in certain situations I sometimes think of the hindrances first without giving much thought to the solutions. Typically, we all need some sense of cynicism to protect ourselves from disappointment or being taken advantage of, but it can too often be crippling when attempting to achieve goals.
I have so many examples on how self-sabotage slithers its way and wraps around without letting go.The most recent is probably the most relevant. I’ll be starting a part-time job very soon. During the week, I’ll be leaving my corporate gig to work around four to five hours at my secondary employer. As you can imagine, it leaves me little time during the week to do much of anything. As someone who overthinks, mixing that with a little bit of challenge first mentality is worse than Miley Cyrus’s attempts at twerking. I immediately had the thought that I wouldn’t have any time to workout, because I would immediately need to get home after the second gig to sleep and get up early for my main source of income. What I probably should’ve done is look for pockets of times during the week where I can at least get a good sweat in for my body and mind. Instead of going to the gym, I can do at home workouts. Instead of cooking breakfast every morning, I can do more meal planning on the weekends to give myself some extra time to do some HIIT training or pump some iron.
Our perspective determines how we proceed in life. We can either let life happen to us or control the things we can and minimize the impact of the blows life throws at us. Anyone who pledged a black greek letter organization is probably familiar with some form of the saying, “Excuses”. No matter how you had to spit it to your Big Brothers or Big Sisters, the intent is still the same, excuses are the limitations we place on ourselves and should be eliminated. You just find a way to get it done. You exhaust all of your resources. You force your heart and nerve and sinew to run through walls if you need to, but you get shit done. I’ve been a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for a very long time now and sometimes I have to remind myself of the lessons I learned searching for the Light. Reciting those poems over and over have come in handy in so many trying times in my life.
My challenge for myself is to focus more on what can be and eliminate what cannot. I’ll focus more on the things I have control over and find ways where I make more time for the things that are essential to my well being. Whenever I see self-doubt in my kids, I often ask them, “are you an afriCAN or afriCAN’T?’ I guess they weren’t the only ones that needed to answer that question.