Your Advice Sucks, Okay?

Growing up I’ve repeated things I’ve heard adults say. I never asked what most of them meant because in my mind, if adults are saying these things they must be right. As I’ve gotten older, I noticed a lot of things we repeated as children didn’t make much sense. For example, the advice they gave other people. 

A lot of things we saying while trying or “comfort” people usually contradicts each other. If you break down a lot of things you tell people don’t really make sense when you say it and as a result your whole life you’ve most likely been giving horrible advice. Yes, you. You give horrible advice. 

“It’s going to be okay. We don’t know what the future holds. Don’t worry about it.” 
  

If we don’t know what the future holds, how do you know it’s going to be okay? Shouldn’t I be more worried since I don’t know? 

Another example of the horrible advice you’ve been giving people is “you shouldn’t feel so bad. Someone else in the world has it worse than you do”. So should I be happy because someone else is suffering? Now let’s say in response to this I said “you shouldn’t be so happy because someone else is living much better off than you are”. My response would be a really mean thing to say to someone but most importantly it doesn’t make sense. It also doesn’t make anyone feel better. You see what I’m getting at here? 

There’s a reason why we have trained helping professionals. They know how to assess situations and give feedback that would helpful. You most likely aren’t helpful in giving advice because no one asked you for it. Think of all the times you gave someone the horrible advice listed above. Now think about how many times someone has said to you “I need your advice”. The ratio is probably 10:1 You offered services no one really wanted. 

You’re not Iyanla. No one needs you to fix their life. This isn’t Dr. Phil. There won’t be some amazing breakthrough. Believe it or not, the person who came to you came to you solely because they needed someone to be present. Oftentimes, the person just wants to get what it is they’re going through off their chest. They want to talk to someone about it. You might not have the answers and that’s okay. No one is expecting you to. Just be there for the person in need. Plus most people who ask for advice do what it is they wanted to do in the first place anyway. 

So stop giving bad advice. Being present is enough. 

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Keeping Your Balance: Don’t Let The Mind Outweigh The Heart 

Throughout my life, I’ve learned it’s a gift and curse to feel everything deeply. As I’ve matured, emotion has become my favorite double edged sword. However, I see more and more people showing disdain toward emotion. Not one day goes by without me seeing or hearing someone complaining “being in their feelings”. Whether it’s them personally or someone else, showing emotion is deemed a bad thing. 

This confuses me. There isn’t one emotion, although Derrick Rose might have you believe  otherwise. (See Chart 1.)

 Chart 1 
You don’t think you’re in danger, you feel you’re in danger. You don’t think you’re hungry, you feel you’re hungry. If you ask anyone that you hear complaining about people being in their feelings, they’ll most likely give you some long winded answer as to why feelings are stupid. I promise you it’ll most likely be a bunch of crap and in their minds their fighting not to respond 

  

Now I can explain this one of two ways. The first way I can take the neuroscience route,  and tell you lack of use of this part of your brain over long periods of time leads to programmed cell death WHICH ultimately makes you a subpar human BUT I would make you feel like you’re in a lecture hall AND I really would like you guys to keep reading my pieces.☺️ Sooooooo I’ll take the other route.☝🏾️ 

(Please read the last section as a mini rant and excuse the fact that it is a giant run on sentence. Thank you😅) 

 Through my observations, I have found “being in one’s feelings” to be associated with negative things. Oftentimes, the humans with the feelings are considered “frail” or “weak”. They’re usually seen as crybabies and everything is a tragedy in their minds. Mr. Aubrey Graham has recently shown the world otherwise.  

As a member of the #FutureHive, I can tell you emotion is needed. Sir Future Hendrix gave us three beautiful pieces of work (Beast Mode, Monster and 56 Nights) fueled mostly off emotion. Emotion is necessary to produce art. You need to be in touch with your feelings. You still connect with Drake’s Take Care because it makes you feel. Without ever being in your feelings, you’re merely a drone. Even the gargoyles showed emotions. 

What I think people mean is there needs to be a balance between logic and emotion. You need logic to know its not a good idea to eat when in the restroom even though you feel hungry. The issue is you’re putting too much thought into feeling. 

 Some people are more in tune with logic than they are with emotion. The amount of logic or emotion used usually determines who becomes accounts or artists. So it’s not a crime because someone feels more than you. However it is a crime to tell yourself or anyone else not to feel. It’s actually inhumane. 

I’ll leave you with an excerpt of one of my new favorite quotes;

 “See the mind is trickster. But your heart will never lie to you. You speak to them from your brain, but they hear you from their heart. Life is a feeling process.” 

-Big Sean’s father, Win Some, Lose Some found on Dark Sky Paradise 

Age Ain’t Nothin But A Number 

So for the past couple of years, I’ve noticed the term “Jordan year” being tossed around. For those of you who don’t know what that means, see image below. 
  
Now by the definition given by Urban Dictionary, the term doesn’t really seem to work. It also leaves room for lots of questions. Jordan also wore the No. 45, so do we get two Jordan years? Is your Kobe year 24 or was it 8? Will I never get to be Russell Westbrook because his number is 0? 
 More often than not, people’s 23rd year seems to suck. It’s the weird middle between 21 and 25. You can buy alcohol all by yourself but you still need a consigner to rent a cool car. You’re too old to do the things you once did but too young to do what it is that you really want. So how can this really be your “best” year? And why is that we chose Jordan to be the representative for the number 23? I’ll attempt to answer you. 

Plenty of people have worn the No. 23 before Sir Michael Jordan has and plenty of people have done so after. So why aren’t they used as depictions of the age 23? Darius Miles wore 23 and in my opinion is ultimately the reason LeBron (another gentleman who wears the No. 23) went to Cleveland; has the most bittersweet story of the people to bear the number. A budding high school star who didn’t live up to the expectations of the world once he made it professionally. Or take a look at Anthony Davis. He has the potential to become the next superstar but he just needs to work on a few more things to master his craft. Honestly there are more Darius Miles’ and Anthony Davis’ in the world than there are Michael Jordans. 

Sorry for the little tangent about basketball but that brings back me to the topic at hand. Your Jordan year isn’t when you turn 23, it’s when you revolutionize the game. It’s when you inspire people to do what it is that you do. It’s when you’ve made your mark on the world and it becomes permanent.   

 
In all honesty, Jordan’s “Jordan year” wasn’t even HIS “Jordan year”. Very few worth mentioning changed their realm of art at age 23. If you don’t believe me ask Oprah, Mark Cuban, or J.K. Rowling. Before you guys continue to emasculate the legacy left by Sir Michael Jordan remember the words of the dearly departed Aaliyah “age ain’t nothin but a number”. 

With that I say to you once more, it’s not about how long, it’s about how well. Think about it this way, what happens when you’re 25? Do you not play the game with the same passion and integrity? Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to reach Jordan caliber at the tender age of 23. Just remember, if you’ve reached you peak at 23, you’re not living up to your potential. 

Stay Hungry My Friends 

I lost it” Everyone has said this at least once in their lives. People lose things all the time. They lose keys. They lose money. Just about anything you can think of can be lost. 

Throughout our lives we’re taught some system or way in which you can find things we’ve lost. Try to remember the last time you had the thing you’re looking for. Retrace your steps. Look everywhere. Keep calm while looking. Take a break. Ask for help. This method usually works. Either you find the thing or you figure you’ve lost forever. 
Happiness however doesn’t work that way. It’s not forever lost and you definitely don’t find your happiness the way you lost it. The issue is we’re taught something about some “key to happiness“. Truth is there is no key and you honestly wouldn’t want there to be one. Keys are made in an instant. There is no instant happiness. Imagine unlocking a door and then you’re surrounded by happiness. Sounds all fine and dandy. That is until you remember locks can be changed. One day the key that unlocks your “happiness” might not work. Once you accept this idea of said key you allow others to assume control over your life. 

In life, happy and hungry are closely related. (Hangry; anger fueled by hunger is real thing.) Once you get food, you’re the happiest kid in all the land. So let’s think of happiness the way we do food. No matter how full you are at the moment you know it’s not going to last for the rest of you life. You’re eventually going to have to eat again and you’re going to ensure that you can always find food. The amount of happiness you have at this given moment isn’t going to last forever. You’re going to have to make decisions to ensure that you can always find happiness. Get hangry for your happy. 
The phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is worded just so for a reason. It is only you decide to do the third will you truly obtain the first two. 

Don’t Think Pink. Bellow Yellow!

“If you can’t handle me at my worst then you don’t deserve me at best.” 

                                           -Marilyn Monroe
This is quote that I see thrown around on the Internet on a constant. Although this is a shortened version of the original quote, it’s still a great one nonetheless. Norma Jean (Ms Monroe’s birth name) is no role model of mine but it’s a great quote. It promotes self-worth and acceptance of self. Which, if you ask me, are possibly the best accessories any woman can wear. So where’d this pink starburst business come from? Because a lot of the women I see post this quote believe they are pink starbursts.
 

(Here’s the starburst madness I was referring to.) 
What’s the obsession with pink starbursts anyway? What makes them better any other flavor? Who told you this was even true? Why do you personally prefer the pink ones over the other flavors?
Most people like pink starbursts and don’t even know why. They just like them because it’s the cool thing to do or whatever. Pink starbursts are boring in my opinion. They’re all sweet and pleasant all the time. Where’s the fun in that? Everyone isn’t a pink starburst. Truth is everyone isn’t going to like you as much they like a pink starburst. 
Be a yellow starburst. Be the yellowest starburst that you can be. They’re tangy and awesome. A little surprise every time. Be that. Everyone isn’t going to like you. You’re not going to be everyone’s favorite. But guess what?! When you find someone who loves yellow starbursts you’re going to be super happy because they’ll love you for you. 
Don’t aim for the norm or for everyone to like you. Be you. The worst parts of you are also your best parts. Just like the tangy part of the yellow starburst

It’s Lenten Season! Open for All!

Happy Ash Wednesday! Hope you enjoyed your Mardi Gras and are ready to start your Lenten season.

I was raised Catholic so celebrating Lent is like breathing for me at this point in time. For those of you who don’t know Lent is the forty days and nights before Easter in which we prepare for Easter. During these days we fast from foods as well as festivities in a form of penance. We also focus on prayer and charity. I was taught to give up something that would be considered an indulgence or vice.

( it’s probably making a lot more sense as to why the day before is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday in English. And yes today is the day we get the black crosses on our foreheads. )

I usually give up bacon or cheesecake or something along those lines. This year, I thought it’d be better to give up a bad habit like procrastination or nail biting. Perhaps you’re a frivolous spender. Work on those things.

It’s okay if you’re not Christian, you can still participate. Don’t think of it as a religious thing; think more along the lines of spirituality. Revisit your New Years’ Resolutions and if you haven’t been doing so well think of Lent as sort of a do over. Use the next six weeks to help you on your journey to reach your better self.

Oh and if you slip up a little bit, just start over. It’s fine. Remember, mistakes are forgiven. If not, how else will you reach self actualization?

Being Selfless is Selfish

Some people have really big hearts. You’re supposed to be helpful and giving or whatnot. But what happens when you help so much it hurts you?

You’re supposed to give without remembering and receive without forgetting. But what happens when you can’t remember the last time you received? Or the things you’ve received came with conditions? What happens when this becomes the norm when interacting with the people you hold dearest to your heart? Do you continue to hold on? When is it okay to let go?

It’s a gift and a curse. You want the people you care about to grow so you provide whatever is necessary for said growth. So you try to teach them things that can use in everyday life so they can flourish and better themselves. Then you realize this isn’t what they really want. They’re comfortable with mediocrity. Now you realize trying to help that person grow left you stagnant. You put so much energy into helping that person that you no longer have any energy to help yourself.

In the moments in which all of this is happening you never notice it. You feel as they need you. In reality, you need them. You need to feel like you’re helping someone. Like you’re saving a life. So you sit through discomfort and pain because you think the ends will justify the means. Ask any firefighter or EMT you want and they’ll let you know you can’t save everybody.

You’ll never be 100%. You’ll always need to grow and putting your growth on hold for the sliver of potential you see in someone else isn’t always worth it. Know when to pack up call it a loss before you lose yourself. Because in all honesty being selfless is selfish.