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Catching Up Quickly

I realized that I have not posted on my blog in almost 6 months…..This made me question its relevance….As I am preparing to revisit my blog, title, purpose, etc I do want to share some of the quotes, images and emotions that have fueled me since my last check in. 

Please feel free to reply with some of your motivational stuff! We ALL NEED THIS! 

What quotes, pictures, etc have kept you motivated over the last 6 months?

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The Space in Which You Exist

Have you thought about the space in which you exist? What about your environment impacts your day to day or what about your experiences impact your environment? Today I took a few minutes to create the space in which I would see myself living in if I were a character in a book or play.

I may be missing some categories but it was fun to think about the space in which my character would live. Please take a few minutes to look at my characters space and feel free to share with us your vision for your characters space; Add categories as you see fit!

Overview: a wide open space, apartment connected to a larger house

Feeling: Warm and casual
Colors: Yellow, Reddish Orange and purple,
Accents: Candles, picture frames- pictures of things and places and quotes- no people, throws, pillows, drapes, heavy drapes, big furniture, statues, sunlight surrounds spaces, big plants
Sounds: Music is always in the background, jazz, instrumentals, opera, sounds of water and laughter in the distance
Emotion: poetry, optimism and sex
Lives for: peace, intimacy, meaningful encounters, truth, fun and purity

From apartmentguide.com

From apartmentguide.com

 

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Guest Post: Urban Gun Violence

Guest author: Rachel Loyd loyd2292@yahoo.com

Gun violence is an epidemic that cripples urban communities throughout America. We mainly hear about it in Chicago, New York City, Detroit etc., but gun violence hits smaller cities as well.

I was born and raised right outside of Chicago in Evanston, IL. When I tell people I’m from Evanston, they automatically think of green grass, wealthy neighborhoods and Northwestern University. Not the problems like drug trafficking and violence that have been brushed over by the government. I’ve lost high school friends to gun violence. My own brother has even been shot. Unfortunately, because the shootings in Evanston don’t happen as frequently as Chicago shootings, the problem is ignored after the shootings calm down again.

When I discovered there was a chain of shootings in Champaign, which is a small town highly esteemed for its university, like my hometown, I wanted to do something about it. I wanted people to know that even though Champaign has a renown institution and wealthy areas, it also has a population of people who are suffering from the urban gun violence epidemic. These short videos are just a glimpse into the effects of urban gun violence.

Even though shootings slow down in the winter, they will resume at a high rate this summer, as they do every year. Let’s remain proactive about saving lives and strategize before the summer plague hits again.

 

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Defining Financial Freedom

Finance

Finance (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

As I prepare to revisit my quest for financial freedom I realized that I had not truly defined what it means to be financially free. Now lets keep in mind that for the past two years I have been a full-time graduate student….so money has not come easy and no raises my way!!!!!!

Despite being on a fixed income (which technically most people are on a fixed income-lol) I am really excited because I only have one more payment on my car note! I have also been able to take more trips and enjoy my life in general.

What I have come to realize is that the way I have spent money is very focused on the NOW instead of planning for my future.

Being financially free is NOT about now.

I have decided to revisit my idea of being financially free. Below are three goals I have set for myself to help define and measure my trek toward financial freedom:

•Raise my credit score by 30 points in one year
•Save (DO NOT TOUCH) $1K in one year
•Increase my income by $100 each month during the next year

I am thinking that If I can increase my income by $100 each month it should make sure that I have my savings of $1k. I am also thinking that by no longer having a car note I will be able to redirect some of my monthly expenditures to clearing up other debt.

I will do a 6 month check in and let you know how it is going.

Please share with me some how you define being financially free.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Applying Lessons in Business to Your Daily Life (lessons from Dave Ramsey)

Dave RamseyRecently I read the book “EntreLeadership” by Dave Ramsey. The book is primarily about practical strategies and advice that can be applied in business. As I was reading the book I felt that much of the advice was applicable to daily life. I also believe that financial freedom is important to everyone so ultimately we should all strive to be EntreLeaders in and outside of the formal business arena.
Below are some of the statements and suggestions that stood out to me regarding EntreLeadership. (Some statements are abbreviated or put in my own words but you get the jist)

• EntreLeadership is defined as “the process of leading to cause a venture to grow and prosper”.
• Henry Ford said “those who never make mistakes work for those who do”
• Build your house of bricks instead of sticks so you won’t panic during turbulent economic and financial times.
• Sell benefits, not products
• Know why you are better than the competitor
• Ask yourself if you hadn’t ______________ with them yet, would you do it again? (Dave Ramsey speaks about hiring a person but I believe that can go for a number of things in life).
• Always go too far in extending grace to personal problems so that you have no regrets.
• January is a big goal setting month, but so is Sept and October after kids go back to school
• Slow and steady wins the race. execute your long-term vision.
• Our intensity must purposefully be directed at things that matter and purposefully not be directed at things that don’t.
• Identify your values to help ease decision-making.
• Ask yourself if the decision causes you to lie or hide the truth
• The more information you have the more obvious the correct decision
• Your worst case scenario is unpleasant but you seldom die from it
• Manage activities instead of trying to manage results
• Try management by objectives (MBOs)
• Stay true to your purpose by turning down opportunities outside of that purpose
• Visions are dreams with more clarity
• Great leaders are always servant leaders
• If you want employees boss them around, if you want team members explain to them what you do.

I highly recommend the book for anyone considering a new financial or personal venture. You definitely want to be an EntreLeader in the next endeavor of your life to make sure that you achieve your desired results.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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What is so funny? Oh Yeah….The Political Stage- Guest Post by Nathaniel Gordon

Black politics in America has become an ongoing joke. The ability, intelligence, and sincerity of politicians is constantly put into questions as black politicians get elected in black communities that have very few options to choose from. As the political field becomes more complicated and the individuals become more educated it appears as if black politicians are playing the same game now that they played forty years ago with their constituents, “Vote for me because I look like you”. The problem is that just because a person looks like me and comes from the same place as me does not mean that they have the same interests as me.

To quell any issues in advance I do not possess self-hatred of myself and my race as a black man, but I do possess I high level of disdain for black politicians that continuously make financial and career gains at the expense of the individuals they are expected to represent and protect. As the issue of competent black politicians becomes a growing concern it must be considered if it is the fault of the black politicians for not doing anything or the black voters for continuously electing these individuals.

The black community has the same concerns as any other group in America; education, healthcare, security, financial stability, and a concern for the safety of their families. What is it that makes the black community less capable of achieving things that other communities receive? It is the involvement of the people (or lack thereof). I sincerely blame the people for electing officials that continuously do nothing, If the people continuously elect officials who do nothing for their communities that means that the voters are either incompetent, they just do not care about their community, or they continuously fail to recognize those who are most incapable of representing their concerns and ideals.

political jokeThe list of corrupt black politicians in American history is long; the Ford family of Tennessee, Kwame Kilpatrick, Jesse Jackson Sr., Jesse Jackson Jr., and Al Sharpton just to name a few. The good that these people have done is questionable in relation to the profits and career advances they have made because of their positions. However, the harm that these individuals have perpetuated is great as well. The Ford family of Tennessee has constantly been charged and convicted of corruption charges while representing black constituents of Tennessee. Kwame Kilpatrick thought it was more important to represent his personal interests of partying, enjoying strippers, and driving Escalades than to focus on the infrastructure of Detroit. Jesse Jackson Sr. has shown constant moral flaws and stories filled with lies throughout his career. Jesse Jackson Jr. has recently been convicted of corruption. I offer a question to you all. Would you hire a person with a perm, no work experience, and a conspiracy to sell cocaine charge? Regardless of your answer Al Sharpton has the same qualities and a great deal of people believe that he is fit to represent Black America.

The success of black people as a whole in politics must begin with the black community. An educated voter, regardless of race, is a problem for a lying politician. A true and honest politician will encourage you to educate yourself and come to them with a legitimate argument against or for their position.

Ask yourself, when is the last time a politician asked you to educate yourself about an issue? When was the last time you were given legitimate knowledge instead of propaganda? When was the last time a politician addressed an issue without public pressure or in a non-election year? When was the last time you legitimately demanded more of your elected officials? When was the last time you were given a solution instead of an excuse?

About Nathaniel Gordon:

Born in Chicago
Graduated from Jones College Prep in 2001.
Graduated from Alcorn State University in 2005 B.A. In Poli-Sci and B.S. In Psychology.
Graduated from University of Mississippi School of Law in 2008.
Owner and Principal Attorney of Law Office of Nathaniel Gordon, specializing in Criminal Defense.

 

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Aside
Fasting in January (from my journal at the time)
This time I tried fasting from something in particular, something that I felt had a hold on me….. (last time it was food until after 6 for one day)…
It’s amazing how when you begin to fast you want the thing you selected to give up more than ever.
I had reinforcements…my friends helped me avoid temptation
I prayed a lot this time…a lot more than I used to….overall I pray a lot more now……Fasting4
How it all worked all a few months later…
I made some really big changes in my life….
The changes are not only attributed to the fasting but an overall process of change and prayer that I am committed to because my spirit is not settled. I want to rid myself of uneasiness more than the thing(s) I thought I needed….the thing(s) I perceived as happiness.
I think the changes will allow me to reach my path of financial freedom as scheduled….You never REALLY know how one big change makes a different in so many areas of your life…..
Share your pre and post fasting experiences. How was your life been impacted by fasting?

Fasting part 2 and starting 3…..

 

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