Passion Living Out Loud

Find Your Passion and Run With It…


February 2014

Sneak Peek…


This thought came to mind today. I’ll be using it for an upcoming post…

Enjoy and share the sneak peek!


Do Something Different…

hamster wheel“You want different results? Do something different!”

I’ve heard this saying over and over again. At the end of the day, it carries so much weight.

There are times we may feel we are going around in circles; running the hamster’s wheel faster than the hamster sometimes… 😉 I laugh at that but it’s true. You’ve set goals before, you’ve created a plan, and you’ve started to execute the plan, yet you didn’t see the results that you wanted. You pressed reset button on the goal. You evaluated the goal, created the same plan, and started to execute that plan. Yet again, you didn’t see the results you want. You pressed reset button on the goal AGAIN…

You can get the point of where I’m going… What was different about your plan the second, third, and fourth time around? Did you execute the same way? Did you think of more conducive actions for you to take to be more successful the next go around? If not, don’t expect to get different results. It can be so easy to be the hamster in the wheel; never finding your way down a more straight path. If you don’t try something different, you won’t get any closer to your goal than the day before. Do you research. Create a plan that doesn’t mimic the ones you’ve had previously. Be innovative in the way you’ll carry out your new plan!

I recently embarked upon a new journey. It’s a 100-day fast. I’ve never fasted before. I’ve considered it. Planned for it, but never actually executed the fast. I just kept running on the wheel. It’s what I consider my effort to ‘do something different’. My hope is to gain more spirituality, insight, increase, guidance and direction on what my next steps in life are to be. I’ll share my journey on here from time to time for the next 100 days. And hopefully I’ll have ‘something different’ and positive to share from my experience. I’m stepping out, trying something different and expecting different results!

Successful Again…

If You Were Successful OnceEvery one has had one of those moments in their life that seems like the goals you’re after are harder to reach than you could have ever expected. The fortunate part is that those moments usually fade away. How so? Well, eventually you did accomplish a goal; maybe even that specific goal.

Today I just want to encourage you to remember that today doesn’t represent what your past has been or your future will be. When the going gets tough, attaining those goals gets further away, remember that once upon a time you accomplished a goal. It doesn’t matter if that goal was big or small; recognized by others or not. You accomplished it. Keep that in mind when you’re working on new goals. Maybe its a new car you want. Trying to finish a degree? Looking for better schooling, housing, relationships? Whatever your goal is, don’t forget that it can be accomplished!

Check out the picture up top. It’s a quick saying that came to mind today on my FB post. Be reflective upon it as you work towards your goals. Your past goals required some level of blood, sweat, and tears; therefore your current and future goals will be no different. Be patient yet dedicated and determined to keep moving towards those goals.The possibilities are endless. Today is only temporary.

You CAN do it!

Remembering Whitney

whitney 5I can create a list of people about a mile long that have inspired me in some way or another during my life span thus far. My first inspirations were definitely my parents, but my inspirations have also included It could’ve been the cafeteria lady elementary school to a Manager of the company I currently work for and plenty of people in between. No one’s life is shaped by just the air they breathe. It is usually impacted by those we encounter daily and the environments we are exposed to. In most cases, inspiration for our goals, aspirations, passions are birthed through those encounters. Your inspiration could have occurred from watching a popular television show, movie, or film. The people in it could inspire your growth. For me, I wanted to share with you one of the most inspiring people I’ve never met in my life, but truly grew up wanting to emulate: THE Whitney Houston!

While many will give you one hundred and one reasons not to appreciate the work of Whitney, I’ll give you one major reason! She was one of the best at what she did! Her songs touched the heart and pulse of every day issues, feelings, and emotions. You could feel the passion from each word that left her lips when she sung. I couldn’t let this day go by without recognizing her. While my main passion is writing, most that know me, know that I am a lover of music. Whitney definitely impacted and inspired me through her music. Heck, I often sing her songs when asked to sing. Check me out singing her rendition of “I Believe In You and Me”.

Two years ago today she left this earth and her legacy will be long-lasting for sure! While I’m remembering Whitney, why don’t you take this time to remember those that have inspired you to be who you are today! You’ll smile while you do it, for sure!

Below is my favorite song by Whitney. I was about four when it came out!

Resourceful Thinking

resourceful thinkingI’m always stressing the importance of following your passion; living life out loud; doing what makes you the happiest. Whether your passion is something you want to share with the world or keep personal for you and your ‘me’ time, being resourceful is still important.

Following your passion has to include the desire to want to be the best at it.

Resources are a part of that desire.

An associate and I were chatting the other day about our current projects. It so happens that both of our projects revolve around our passion. And those passions depend on our ability to be resourceful. We discussed the various networks, written literature, etc that offered valuable ideas and details to better execute our projects. Moreover, even during our conversation, the associate began to lend me some great ideas to incorporate into my plans. It just so-happened that I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment. You know… Those moments that serve as re-iterators in life; or those moments that an idea just clicks. The associate had become a resource for my passion.

Today’s message is simple. Use the resources that are closest to you to capitalize on your passion. Your resources may be a person, thing, or an idea, but they are usually closer than you think. They are often more economical for your use than you think. Using the ones closest to you can tide you over until you are able to obtain your resources that are farther in reach!

Passion Living: In Living Color: Ari Hotep

Ari HotepWho says a person can only possess one passion? Definitely not Ari Hotep. Individuals can find themselves in tune and in love with many things and want to live them all out loud. Ari Hotep is a man of many passions and today I’m sharing his passions with the world. Check it out below and be inspired to begin or continue living your passion out loud!

Passionista: What is your passion?

Hotep: Well, I can’t just give you one (he replies with a humble laugh). My passions are writing, painting, barbering, filming, and photography.

Passionista: What a spectrum of passions. How do they play into some of your past or current projects?

Hotep: Recently I finished writing and recording my debut album “The Mennefer Project” that will drop Spring 2014. About a year ago, I entered a character-like painting of Tupac Shakur into a silent auction that raised money for a sickle-cell event that raised approximately $100.  After tracing my family history I discovered both of my grandparents actually styled or cut hair. Once I found that information out it was important for me as man to have a license as a barber. Barbering allowed an opportunity to show my skills as an artist to groom men, women, and children. I recently filmed a music video, “Child of the Blues” for an artist by the name of Jam Young from Queens New York and another video titled, “Levitate” for an artist from Memphis, Tennessee by the name of Trey Graves.

Passionista: If you could describe the way you feel about your passion in one word, what word would you choose?

Hotep: Learning.

Passionista: That’s a powerful word to recognize, Ari. It’s never-ending and reflects the point that you’ll always be doing that no matter what you’re doing. Your passion. Your life. Do you ever think you’ll stop living your passion out loud?

Hotep: No, because I’m always learning something new and I can enjoy the journey.

Passionista: Can you recall when you first realized your passions?

Hotep: I first realized my passion of  drawing at the age of nine. I realized I loved writing around the age of thirteen or fourteen years old. My other passions were discovered as I got older.

Passionista: Who/What inspired you most to live out your passion?

Hotep: Life is what inspires me to live out my passion. A list of people inspired me. My father, grandparents, aunts uncles, mother, sister, brother, children, Gordon Parks, Bill Cosby, Andre 3000, Tupac Shakur, just to name a few and people who chase their dreams by all means.

Passionista: Do you train others on your passion?

Hotep: No, because my passion is personal to me.

Passionista: Do you feel others are inspired by your passions?

Hotep: Of course. People begin to look into the mirror at themselves and begin to be confident about passions they may have or want to do.

Passionista: What have been some of your greatest challenges, if any, in following your passion? How did you overcome those challenges?

Hotep: Support and finances have been major challenges in following my passion. I overcame the challenges by knowing I can do whatever I put my mind to. As I take one step there is a higher power that takes a step right along with me. Surrounding myself with like minds has also helped.

Passionista: If you could give some advice to individuals that desire to live their passion(s) out loud, what would it be?

Hotep: Excuses build bridges to nowhere!

Passionista: Ouch. That one might step on some people’s toes, Ari. It’s so easy to come up with reasons on why something can’t be done. I love that. What do you hope to be doing with your passion in ten years?

Hotep: Honestly traveling the world as artist, movie director, photographer, and have my paintings for sale.

Passionista: Sounds like a passionate plan, Ari. Thanks for sharing your PASSIONS and I definitely wish you nothing but luck.

Until the next time passionistas, be inspired and keep living out loud!

The Unexpected Angel

Nikki RodgersLife can be so miraculous. Have you ever decided to be apart of something with the sole purpose to gain one thing, but you end up gaining so much more? Well, that’s what my experience at “The Source for Single Moms” at Bellevue Baptist Church was this past weekend. The event is three hours of worship, fellowship, and good eating! 😉 I always like to attend the event because it’s an opportunity to meet other single mothers, share our stories, gain some inspirational and motivational words from speaker Suzan Watson, and get some ‘me’ time because the kids have their own play time away from the moms during the event. I didn’t think this event would be any different. I was expecting to hear the word from Mrs. Watson, eat, hug a few familiar and new faces and head home feeling renewed. I happened upon a very unexpected conversation with a woman by the name of Nikki, I’ll call her ‘The Angel’.

I first saw ‘The Angel’ as I entered the main hall at a table where she sat alone in the front of the room. There was a comfort that drove me to sit with her. We immediately sparked up conversation and before I knew it, she was sharing her testimony with me. She pointed to the visible, recent scar on her neck and told me her journey and battle with throat cancer. She talked about how she discovered it, how it’s affected her life to date, how it’s affected her family, and how she was not dismayed by the challenges that had/are presented by it. She was adamant about sharing her story with all that would listen. She felt her scar was the proof that faith in God was the ultimate gift in life. I was in awe at the fact that her illness would mentally cripple most (heck I don’t think I could be as strong as she), yet it empowered her to keep pushing. Her spirit was so amazing. Her story even more so. At that moment she became one of the strongest people I’d met in my life. She’d also become the unexpected angel God positioned for me to meet to help realize Him more.

For those who know me, one of my areas to continue working on is being a worrier. I’m always worried about something. Don’t mistake my worry for lack of faith, but it’s definitely an area I’m continuing to work on. It’s like first I worry, then I pray, then I try to fix whatever is worrying me. The order of my reactions is so wrong. First I should pray and then act on how I’m led to embrace what needs fixing. Worrying shouldn’t even be in my reaction. Angel however, helped me realize that my choice to worry is so selfish and disregarding of the power of faith and belief in God. Her ability to fight cancer and still be the pleasant and gracious woman she came off to be was proof that even in the midst of our storms, we should know that our challenges can be overcome. I’m so glad I met the unexpected angel on Friday. God knew I really needed to.

As relates to this blog, I wanted to share ‘The Angel’s’ story with you to encourage you to continue following your passion regardless of the challenges that may present themselves. Maybe you’ll have to re-adjust, slow down, or put them on hold to work on becoming stronger in the process, but don’t give up. I’m going to continue to be less of a worrier and more of a warrior like ‘The Angel’…

Until the next post people, keep living out loud and live it with all the passion you can muster up!

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