Life has an interesting way of twisting and turning according to our perceptions, thoughts, decisions, and actions. Please forgive me for assuming that we have had an interesting life so far (individually, of course). If we were to assess our perceptions, thoughts, decisions and actions over the years, we would see how they collaborate to form our individual realities in ways we often overlook. It is also fair to say that some of us have spent our early years conforming in order to “fit in” in with the status quo, instead of developing our true selves because of our need to be accepted.  Let me know if I’m wrong on this one.


There has been a consistent pattern that continues to surface and impact my experiences. This is not something I would be conscious of if many of my personal challenges didn’t force me to evaluate my life back in 2003. That year proved to be a defining year for where my life is now. It was a year that included countless failures based on terrible decisions, an armed robbery that left the left side of my face unrecognizable, consistent feelings of worthlessness and random thoughts of what the world would be like if I was to disappear. Everything I sensed during most of that year was negative and dark and forced me to keep away from human interaction because of tremendously low self-esteem.


This piece, along with other subsequent pieces, is not being written with statements of absolute understanding or authority. They are written with a hope that they add validation and value to what you may already know, while encouraging and empowering you to make the best of your journey. Although things are not currently perfect (and they never will be), life continues to improve in ways that never seemed possible at any point during 2003. I have been extremely fortunate to have many dreams manifest in the physical because of the reversal of my perceptions, thoughts, decisions and actions. There are nine simple lessons that have stood out and propel me forward when I commit myself to practicing them.


The nine impactful gems being shared have been learned from books, formal education, articles, personal research, studying, speaking with some people I consider successful, and countless personal experiences. Also working in the education sector for the past three years working with students, sharing these lessons and seeing how their lives transform based on their application has convinced me that these are valuable gems ( ). My intent is to add to the efforts of those interested in doing the necessary things required to create the realities they hope for. This article serves as an introduction to a series of nine monthly articles that will expand on each individual gem. As you read this and the follow-up pieces, share them with others. Let’s engage and begin a dialogue around these topics:


Believe in yourself when no one else does

Seize the opportunity when it comes up

Find the system that works for your style

Do not overlook talent that might exist around you today

Be you

Stay humble

When you make others around you look good, they will love you forever

Never forget about the importance of luck, favor or fate

Work your butt off


You may know of these and may have experiences that support some, if not all nine. Your experiences are welcome and could be what helps someone break through their current state of dormancy. Let us share and consistently apply our many lessons for continuous improvement toward achieving our most desired outcomes. If you know these things already but have reduced the frequency of execution in any of the aforementioned areas, it’s time to execute like never before because your ambitions depend on them. The most challenging times of my life were tough because I spent most of my energy trying to please others who did not sincerely care for my best interest. It was common for me to pretend being someone I wasn’t in order to assimilate. Join me next month as I share some of the experiences that taught me to “Believe in yourself when no one else does”.