Redefining Your Life

by Young Che on April 16, 2008

Here is another post dealing with the subject matter of choice for 2008 and beyond. It’s all about redefining my/your reality. I will be testing some of the concepts that Tim Ferris introduced in his book titled “The 4-Hour Work Week” during the next couple of days. I read the book a couple of weeks ago and was very impressed with the concepts he introduced throughout. I picked it up again yesterday to start reading it for a second time. His approach is fresh, new and worth implementing if you want to live a more rewarding life. Oftentimes I find myself working 40 plus hours every week and only dreaming about doing the things that I want to do or could do that would be a more lasting contribution to my family, community, nation and society at large. Like so many of you who see themselves doing great things with their lives only to be saddled with the reality of a mediocre existence but want the “opportunity” to do something worthwhile and special. The answer to this little problem is right there in the last sentence I wrote. Do something. Do anything as long as it is something that either you want to do or something that helps you to fulfill your purpose for being. I know it may be hard to do something that allows you to fulfill your purpose for being when you may not have a clue what your purpose for being is. You will find life to be more rewarding when you can do things that justify yourself on a higher plane than mere survival. Most of our time is spent working for survival. Survival is important, especially for those of us who happen to be Black men in America facing permanent extinction. Survival used as the de facto reason for our actual existence is one of the lowest forms of motivation and can in no way foster the creative side of us that is necessary to make real progress in any chosen field or endeavor.

I’ve spent at least one day a week doing something I want to do for the last couple of months. I’ve reduced my stress level significantly just by implementing this approach since the beginning of the year. That concept from his book wasn’t exactly new to me but it did remind me about doing as opposed to getting around to doing something when time permits. Time never permits. Time is always moving whether we notice or not. There are several activities that bring me fulfillment as a person. With the hectic workweek I rarely if ever get to dedicate the amount of time to truly get the most out of these experiences. I’m still only a weekend warrior in terms of doing the things that I want to do, but I am committed to doing them whenever I can “make” the time. I make sure that I make the time. There is a saying that we all make time to do what we want to do or similarly we know how to find money for the things that we want. Both of these sayings have merit but the problem comes in as a result of us living a deferred lifestyle through our 9 to 5s. We get so bogged down with work, whether we are self-employed or work as an employee. There is one myth that should be exploded at once when it comes to being self-employed or being an entrepreneur. Neither one of these career choices lead to more free time. Becoming an entrepreneur can lead to free time if you understand that free time is valuable from the beginning and set yourself on a course to carve out as much free time for yourself as possible. If not, you run the risk of doing what other entrepreneurs do and that is to become overworked under a heavy workload of your own creation.

I’m not a fan of hard work for the sake of hard work and have really never been. Some jobs have a difficulty factor attached to them that is very high and therefore places the tasks related to the job in the hard category. One such job is one that I signed on for about 14 years ago and that is to help the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan with what is debatably the most difficult job ever given to a human being. That is the resurrection of the spiritually and mentally dead Black man and woman in America. We have been made so spiritually blind, deaf and dumb that it takes a special man for the task. Minister Farrakhan is such a special man. I signed up to help him because it is something that I want to do. Some factors that hinder my ability to help properly is the fact that I commit so many hours to every week working in a completely unrelated field. The question of time is the question that needs to be redefined. What we choose to do with our time is a very significant issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The work required to do it is a full time work but if not approached from a creative mindset will not yield any flow of cash from doing this type of work. It is a labor of love. You have to love what you do. That is part of the secret to becoming successful in any endeavor and that is to love what you are doing. If you do what you love first then it becomes easier to make opportunities that otherwise don’t exist because you are not involved with doing what you love.

There are several things I enjoy doing but I realized that I had to reacquaint myself with some of them. Another thing that I really enjoy doing is skateboarding. So I dedicate some time to actually skateboarding on a regular basis. It gives me the opportunity to experience life on a completely different level than a lot of people because of the events which are unique to skateboarding. It’s great meeting new people from this world and it keeps me young since the majority of skaters are young guys. Just yesterday I met a team of skaters who are traveling across the country on tour promoting the company they ride for. They said that they had just returned from New Zealand and some other countries abroad touring and filming for their new video. One of my dreams was always to be able to travel the world skateboarding and I got to meet these young guys who were actually ripping and doing just that. Just talking to them offers more insight to the world around me as I try to look at it for little tidbits of information, ideas and routes that I may have been overlooking that could help make my life all that I want out of life and then some.

I’ve also been nurturing my love for Hip Hop. I let my passion for it wane over the years as I committed more of my life to the struggle for our liberation as a people. Then the industry sunk into just another tool to promote ignorance among our people. Since the birth of Hip Hop it has been an effective tool to for teaching, sharing, entertaining, inspiring, motivating and so much more. I consider myself one of Hip Hop’s beneficiaries and I am grateful for the quality of life I enjoy as a result of lessons I’ve learned from so many incredibly talented artists over the years. Over the years there have consistently been talented individuals making good music but they have had to exist without much fanfare because of the business side of music. The industry is vicious in its approach to our adopted cultural evolution as they continuously try to define who we are through negative stereotypes. They promote death-styles heavily and capitalize on our collective suffering. In spite of the negativity that ruled the music that I love over the years I still know how to find good music and I am excited about the fact that a lot of young artists are committed to making good music. If you have not heard Blu & Exile’s Below the Heavens you should really check it out. This is something that brings me pleasure. I love listening to good music.

I also enjoy writing. I enjoy the feeling of being able to express myself so that I can process my thoughts in a form that I can go back and check out my thinking at a given moment in history. These are things that I enjoy doing. Another guilty pleasure of mine is traveling. I really enjoy traveling. I love traveling out of the country so that I can see how other people live. I love learning about different cultures first hand through interacting with the people who live in other countries. It is very refreshing to be able to learn and experience new things.

There is so much life to experience that it would be a shame to waste so much time doing what we don’t have any passion for whatsoever. Work just for working’s sake is not a noble pursuit. Work must be accompanied by purpose or you run the risk of leading a very hollow life no matter how many creature comforts you manage to accumulate. Take time to reflect over the life that you are living and how it is you are spending your time. Decide for yourself if you are doing what you want to do with your life. One way to really tell is to ask yourself if you look forward to starting each day or if you approach it with a sinking feeling of dread. If you dread your daily routine it is time for you to look for ways to get more out of your life. Start by finding something that you like doing and do it.

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