Something Worth Chasing

I couldn't tell you what these guys are chasing...But me? I'm chasing my dreams.

I remember this one time I was taking the Greyhound bus home for a weekend to make it to a Tigers’ game the next day.  On the way from Flint to Detroit, I was chilling out and listening to my mp3 when I noticed this boy who was trying to spit game to this chick.  I kind of watched him as he struck out swinging trying to get this girl’s phone number and other info (personally, I thought the guy was mentally off to begin with…).  She would keep telling him things like, “It’s nice to meet you and all, but I’m not really interested in trying to know you or get into a relationship right now.”  She saw me watching and we both chuckled and shook our heads (seriously, the guy was slow).  And my first thought was: “Man!  It sucks to be a woman!”

I’m sure we’ve all seen and/or been a part of cases like these.  Whether it’s that girl walking past you in the mall, or (for the ladies) that guy in the club, I’m sure you’ve found yourself pursing someone who you knew was probably way out of your league.  But this isn’t just limited to pursuing a soul mate (or a booty-call if that’s more of your thing).  We as people find ourselves pursing things like cars, houses, and all those new gadgets that become obsolete in six months.  These things are so far out of our reach, they come off like the English Premier League in soccer to our “Major” League Soccer in North America (for those who aren’t familiar with soccer leagues, think of the NFL compared to arena football, or MLB to Independent League baseball).  And ironically, they all have one thing in common: more often than not, these are temporary materialistic things that you can’t take with you when you pass away. Believe it or not, there is only one thing out there that you have that no one can take from you: your goals and dreams.

Let me tell you about something I’ve recently started (and part of my reason for starting this blog).  I recently established myself as a freelance publicist; except, I call it something different.  The name of my side gig is the same as my username – abrothanamedCed: The Marketing Communications Artist.  I see myself as more than a publicist who can write-up a good news release.  It’s why I expand my services to whatever is necessary to market my clients and partners to the best of what I’m capable.  Check out my website at http://www.abrothanamedCed.com.  How long do I plan to keep up with “abrothanamedCed”?  Until I establish myself as an official small marketing firm, or until I find that one company I decide I want to take over.

Logos, websites, business cards? It costs alot now. But it's the long-run that matters.

How does this relate to chasing my dreams?  Well, as you may be aware (or should be by now) I’m a recent college graduate.  And as some of you also know, the question you get asked the most is, “so, whatcha gon’ do now?”  My main goal after graduation was to be able to stay in the Detroit area.  Having matured and living here a while, I’ve grown to appreciate the city (believe me, as a kid I used to hope this place would burn to the ground).  So you can imagine that I haven’t been much of a fan of the criticism the city has taken lately.  It’s like this once proud city of more than a million citizens has become America’s punchline of now fewer than 800,000.  Call me crazy, but I’m one of those who thinks the city can bounce back one day.  And you know what’s even crazier?  I want to be a part of the turnaround.  Whereas others get their kicks-and-giggles living “La Vida Loca” in cities like the NYC and LA, I find that there’s something to be said about making it in the D.  I guess you can say I get my thrills from being the underdog.  After all, If I go down, I’d rather do it swinging!

That’s just my lengthy example!  The point is, your dreams and goals are the only things really worth chasing.  Men and women, money and cars, clothes, jewelry and gadgets, all of these things are only temporary.  Like I said in my first post, do what you love to do and these things will come along in the process.  At the end of the day, how would you feel if you couldn’t say that you didn’t spend at least a couple of days in your life pursuing your goals, dreams and passions?  But, whatever you do, don’t let me tell you what your dreams and goals are.  If your goal in life is to get “the hottest chick in the game wearing your chain” (Jay-Z quote), more power to you!  Just make sure it’s something really worth pursuing in the grand scheme of things.

Oh, and by the way: since I know I may not make money with abrothanamedCed right away, I accepted a full-time job with BNP Media!  Those student loans don’t payoff themselves you know.  Anyway, I start tomorrow, so wish me luck!

Real-World, Meet Your Long Lost Buddy

Feeling like the real-world has you in submission? Call your long lost buddy for help.

Think of a time before you were a teen. I bet when you were a kid, there was always that one dream toy or dream clothes that you always wanted. I also bet that you used an old friend that today probably gets as much action as I do for the Detroit Tigers (none). You had no choice but to use this friend because every time you asked your parents for the real thing you were left with tears in your eyes or your bottom lip out there like Al Sharpton’s theories.

Now think about how this relates to how you live today. Some of you maybe still college students while others are real-world adults. You still find yourself desiring certain things, like that dream job right when you graduate, or that nice car that’s sure to make you look like you make more than a Fortune 500 CEO. Strangely enough, there’s still people out there who make excuses why you can’t have those things (and more than likely it’s not your parents). You still get those tears in your eyes and walk around looking like a sad puppy. The only difference is now that you don’t reach out to that old friend you leaned on as a kid. Instead, you just let life kick your teeth in and take your beatdown like the boring adult you were raised to be. So, who is this friend you’ve neglected, and what does this have to do with getting your way?

His/her name is imagination. You were once best buddies, but now you wouldn’t recognize it even if it hit you harder than Muhammed Ali in his prime. Sure, it doesn’t look anything like it used to, but it can actually come in handy today. That’s because, you’re not the only one who’s been growing up these past few years. Your long lost buddy wasn’t just collecting dust like an old book. He/she too has been maturing while you were taking your real-world butt-kicking. It’s even taken a new name: Innovation.

What’s the difference? Whereas your imagination was mostly used to create unrealistic fantasies, innovation combines your childhood creativity along with real-world limitations to create an idea, product or service. How can innovation help you today? By using it to help you get to where you want to be. Innovation isn’t nearly as complicated as rocket scientists make it out to be. Really, all it takes to be innovative is to do something different from what everyone else is doing while still being useful to others. Think of the Snuggie for instance. All that this is just a comfy bed blanket turned into a backwards robe. All the inventors did was capitalize on a problem that plagued couch potatoes everywhere! Now, they’re probably making millions selling those silly things in thousands of designs and colors.

You don’t have to create something new to be innovative. All it takes is doing something different. In my last post I talked about how you learn from your past to affect your present in order to create your future. Well you don’t have to do that alone. Your innovation can be used to help you get that dream job or that dream house. Do something different that you would’ve never thought of before. Break away from your daily routine and try something new, whether it be creating a website for your resume or creating new ways to save money towards that house. The best way to figure it out is by trial and error.

Speaking of that dream job: I’m still “jobless” in case you were wondering…..but I’m not worried. My innovation and I still have some tricks up our sleeves. Want to know what I’m talking about? You’ll just have to keep reading to find out….

Where Past Meets Future

Back to the Future?
Unfortunately in real-life, there is no going "Back to the Future" or even to the past

How many of you remember your grade school English class? For most of you its probably been a good while, nearly eons ago for baby boomers. Remember when your teacher taught you about using tenses? You learned how to used the past, present, and future tenses of words. It kind of got on my nerves at first, especially when it came to words like read (notice how the present tense is read and the past tense is still read). Confusing, right? But what’s not so confusing is how those same tenses you learned so long ago in English class relate to how you live your life today.

But before you think I’m starting to get all philosophical on you again, just hear me out on this one.

First, we have the past. It consists of moments and actions you once lived in. The past is bittersweet because you can never have those moments back, for better of worse. And unlike Florida in the 2000 Presidential Election, there are no redo’s. Rather, the past serves as an experience for you to learn from so that you can make more informed decisions on what to do in the present.

Then, there’s the future. Like Paris Hilton sightings, the future is unpredictable and unless you have ESP (extra-special powers) you’ll never know it holds. Your future can yield an endless sky of opportunities, or be wrought with failure and disappointments. But there is one way that you can determine what your future will look like (and it doesn’t include calling Ms. Cleo for your free reading).

The way to determine your future is by living in the present. This is where you use your past to paint a picture of what your future may hold. Those who use the past to hinder them from trying things will find themselves living in an unrealized future, which in turn causes you to live in a regretful present. You then live unhappily because of the mistakes you felt you made, and as the old saying goes, “misery loves company.” However, there are those who use the past as a stepping stone to where they want to be in the future. These people make the most of their present situation by being grateful for the resources they have today and using them to the best of their abilities. No it probably isn’t always easy, but these people realize that where they are today is better than where they were in the past. (Need a further explanation? Stay tuned!)

I’m only one final exam away from what they call “the real-world.” People ask me alot lately about what my future holds. It doesn’t bother me so much when I have to tell them that I don’t have a gig lined-up when I leave here, but I’m still looking. I’m not bitter about my present because I’m confident that I did my best to shape my past by utilizing the opportunities that were available to the best of my ability. At the same time, I also know that my future is far from being completely uncertain. Wondering what I mean by this? Stay tuned, keep reading and you’ll know what I mean soon enough.

The Irony of Success

So I’m finally finishing up my undergraduate career at this place we call Northwood!  It’s been an interesting here, for better and for worse.  Anyway, while suffering from a severe case of boredom in my humanities course, I started to daydream about being successful (somehow this relates to my course textbook which talks about innovation, yet my attention span is somewhere between minimal and non-existent).  I started thinking about all sorts of wealthy celebrities and what their specialties were.  Then I started to think about some lesser-known role models that walk among us everyday.  Then, it struck me that there’s actually a common parallel between the two.

Most of today’s successful people didn’t become successful by keeping their minds focused on it.  In fact, there’s one key similarity to all of those people who we consider “successful”:  Truly successful people do what they love to do!  From Bill Gates and Michael Dell, to Donald Henderson and Jim Reed (I’ll explain in a minute), the most successful people in this world got there by doing the things they love to do.  As we all know, Bill Gates dropped out of college to pursue his passion for technology.  Michael Dell started building computers from his dorm room at the University of Texas.  Jim Reed, an automotive marketing consultant, is widely known at colleges around the nation as a phenomenal speaker.  And just who the hell is Don Henderson? Well, he’s only the founding director of one of the most established and constantly growing male-mentoring groups in the D called the Brothers In Transition (which I’m proud to say I’m a product of)!  Whether today they enjoy the luxuries of the corner office, or the confines of the old office by the stage, each of these guys made it by doing the things they’re passionate about.

When I think of trying to be successful, I think of my days playing baseball in the D.  After playing three years for Pershing my teammates would be the first to tell you that my career there was an epic failure (and at times, a pure headache).  The way I see it, my attitude was never one that fostered success.  It seemed like every year I played I had a sense of entitlement to being great because of the hard work I put in.  I was playing for a college-ball scholarship instead of playing for the love of the game.  Because of this (and other factors) my talents never really materialized; I ended my high school career batting well under the Mendoza line (.200 for you non-baseball fans).  It wasn’t until my second time playing summer ball before I left for college that I actually started playing decently.  Why is this?  I think it’s because I played with nothing, but the game, to lose.  I stopped worrying about playing for a scholarship and winning the title because those things just didn’t mean that much to me anymore.  The end result: I had the most fun I had playing since I was in Georgia (and I even hit a few extra-base hits along the way).  If only I’d played like that in high school the A.D. wouldn’t have been asking me “when are you gonna get a hit, son?” every time he saw me in the hallways.

I’m sure we all want to be successful in some way, and there’s many ways to get there.  For me, the way to being successful is doing what you love to do.  Therefore, I encourage my readers to find their true passion (a topic for another blog?) and pursue it like a 50-year-old pervert at a college night club (just make sure you don’t get sued or locked-up in the process).

But hey, maybe keeping your mind focused on success works for you.  If it worked for Mark Zuckerburg and  Michael Jordan (who’s probably still rubbing-in his Hall of Fame induction in the face of some kid who isn’t even old enough to know who he is) maybe it works for you too.

So, what are your thoughts?