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Passion Living Out Loud

Find Your Passion and Run With It…

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April 2014

What’s A Passion Without Growth

GrowthFor those that have been following me for a minute, you’re familiar with my constant emphasis on self-growth. Most of the things I produce as a writer are based on that topic. I believe that self-growth is the all-in-all purpose in life. I believe this is so not just myself, but for everyone that breathes. Why? Without self-growth there’s no true progress in life. And I believe that in relation to following my passion, my growth affects the way in which I’m able to follow my passion. It affects the way I am able to capitalize on my passion. It affects the rate of growth for my passion.


 

“My constant mission is to continue my personal and spiritual growth. Life means nothing to me if I’m not becoming better than yesterday. I’m purposeless if I don’t offer the my child; my family; the world a better me.”


My question to you today is, What’s a Passion Without Growth? Following your passion is all about securing your happiness, but with that you have to be in the business of becoming a better person each and every day. If you remain stagnant as a person, so will your passion. Your passion won’t see any fruits from your labor. Your growth not only affects the position of your passion, but everything else that you encounter. You practically have no passion if there is no growth. Personal growth is one of the most impacting aspects of life and the happiness and success found within it.

Today I urge you to make a conscious effort to ALWAYS work towards becoming a better you. Yesterday doesn’t define you, but assists in shaping who you are today and who you CAN be tomorrow. Make your efforts count. Don’t remain stagnant. Know that if you’re going to truly follow your passion and do it successfully, who you are matters.

 

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Attitude. Gratitude. Altitude.

mountainsHey Passionistas! Quick life lesson here.

The old saying, ‘Your attitude determines your altitude’ has every truth behind it. It’s been proven time and time again. I’ve mentioned frequently on this blog how negative begets negative and positive begets positive. I’m a firm believer in this. Admittedly, the times in my life that I’ve been negative about my existing situations, were the times that things didn’t get better. It wasn’t until I committed to being positive about my situations (not easy to do, but I still committed) that my outcomes were much more desirable.

Recently, I encountered a young family member of mine that wasn’t getting the play time on the field at school as much as she’d like. She was understandably frustrated by it, but the disturbing part was watching her wallow in her frustration along with the refusal to support her team as she looked on from the bench. Now, don’t get me wrong, I completely understand what it feels like to be overlooked and under-supported, but I’ve learned wallowing, griping, and having a bad attitude never got anyone anywhere. A friend of mine reminded me of the legendary basketball star, Michael Jordan. He was overlooked, dismissed, and counted out in high school to play basketball. He could have easily formed a resentful attitude towards his coaches and life in general; considering the decision unfair and unjustified. However, he didn’t. As we all know the end of the story, Michael went on to play in college and ultimately pro basketball becoming undoubtedly one of the greatest basketball players to ever touch a basketball. I’m going to be sure to share this story with my young female family member. She might not be ready to accept this truth, but hopefully it will resonate one day.

Michael’s story reminds me that in between that positive attitude and the point in which he achieved a greater altitude in life, there had to have been his gratitude; his appreciation for where he currently was in life. He appreciated that in his moments of disappointment, it was only temporary and that he had to remain focused on the altitude he was trying to achieve. Don’t stunt your growth and happiness in life simply because of a poor attitude and view on life. Today, I wanted to impress upon you as you follow your passion, look for that new job, mend relationships, etc that your ATTITUDE is tied in with your GRATITUDE and determines your ALTITUDE.

Continue being passionate about what you love and living out loud people! Know that whatever is going on today that isn’t desirable could quickly change tomorrow and make life that much more meaningful!

Passion Living: In Living Color: James Edward Woods, Jr.

james woods
*Not the owner of this photograph*

This week’s Passion Living: In Living Color interview will be candid to say the least, but more importantly just as inspiring. When you believe in yourself; your passion nothing can nor will stop you. This week’s interviewee mimics this very idea. With a camera in one hand and passion in the other, James Edward Woods, Jr. has proven that without faith and perseverance, passions can be merely dormant thoughts. Check out his interview and see how he’s undoubtedly living his passion out loud!

Passionista: What is your passion?

James: Storytelling and film-making are my passions. I love them the most of all that I do.

Passionista: Have you always known that you had a passion? Have you always been aware of it? Can you recall when you first identified it as your passion?

James: I’ve always known I had a passion for storytelling because of my ability to make others pay attention and the laughter I have received throughout my life.

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

James: My parents are the ones that gave, and to this day, give me inspiration to be everything I’ve wanted.

Passionista: It’s a blessing to be able to say that James. It sounds like they have been very supportive of what you do.

James: They have.

Passionista: What are some of your past or current projects that display your passion?

James: I recently directed and produced a project my girlfriend, Abby Harris, created called “Sons Of Hip Hop”.

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

James: Eager.

Passionista: Very intriguing word, James. Why did you choose that word?

James: I’m eager for the world to watch and listen to the stories I have to tell.

Passionista: If your closest friend had to describe you in two or three words, what would it be and why?

James: Decent human being.  I try to live my life by the Ten Commandments but sometimes I make mistakes.  I don’t attend church every Sunday, but I make an effort to treat my fellow man or woman with kindness and respect.

Passionista: I love that answer, James. That’s probably more important than any passion a person could have. What’s a passion without being the best person possible? On another note, do you consider yourself to be living your passion out loud (whether in private or public)?

James: I think I’m finally living my passion out loud for myself. No one else. I stopped talking about it, and started living it.  I talked for years about moving from Mississippi to Los Angeles  to work in the entertainment industry because it would never happen for me in Small Town, USA.  I didn’t make that move until I was 31 years old. My journey has been positive. Interesting, but positive all the same. I can’t wait to see what is next.

Passionista: That’s what this blog is all about, James. I’m glad you’re sharing your story with the readers. If you’re going to follow your passion; whether its to move to big city LA or just to do something you love in your backyard, the first step is just to do it. There’s no other way around it. Do you train others on your passion or do others come to you looking for insight on how to do similar things like your passion?

James: From time to time I have had others ask for advice and I share what has gotten me to where I am in life.  I’ve learned though that everyone has a different path.

Passionista: How do you feel your passion inspires others?

James: I really don’t know if I’m inspiring anyone else, I’m still working on myself.

Passionista: Well, let me be the first to tell you that you have inspired me. What about some of your greatest challenges? How did you overcome those challenges?

James: Well, if you believe the starving artist theory, it’s real. Finances have been a struggle and of course being so far away from my family in Mississippi. What keeps me grounded though is knowing that with time and hard work it gets greater. Heck, it already has gotten better since my landing in LA.

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

James: Just do it. If you fuck up, so be it. It’s better than saying what if?

Thanks for doing the interview with me James. This has been all of what I wanted it to be and more. Your story alone is inspiring. Everyone can’t say that they’ve stepped out on faith and followed their passions. I’m sure the journey hasn’t been the most comfortable, but yet in still, you seem very appreciative of it.

To all my Passionistas, James’ story is one to remember that doubt has no place in your journey to following your passion and LIVING OUT LOUD!

Getting Rid of the Fat…

steakMost times in life there is something holding us back from our dreams. There’s a little voice in our head, a person, a thing, or a situation in our life that keeps us from moving full speed ahead towards a more meaningful, happy life. Today I want to consider all those things THE FAT in our lives.

I was preparing some steaks for dinner the other night (a treat really because it’s not something I usually eat), but in the preparation I knew I had to cut away any of the fat that pinned itself to the sides of the steak. Even though it’s a red meat and isn’t the healthiest of options, I wanted to make it as healthy as possible. I had no choice, but to cut the fat away. Life is no different. It’s not going to be perfect. The road to meeting your goals, living out your passion isn’t going to come without rough edges and fat that HAS to be cut away. That’s the only way to get to the goodness of life.

Start today being more cognitive of the fat in your life. Make a list and come up with ways to rid your life of that fat. It may be people. It may be a living situation that has to change. It may be a mindset that you have. It could possibly even be a job. Whatever it is, create a plan to remove it from your life. Put that fat on a timeline for removal. Don’t allow it to stay pinned to you.

It’s the only healthy way to live!

Passion Lived Out Loud: RIP Karyn Washington and all the beautiful women that have inspired yet battled with their own despair

Karyn Washington
Karyn Washington, creator of ForBrownGirls & The#DarkSkinRedLip Project *pictured not owned by author*

Today’s post is unusual for this site, but truly just as meaningful as any other post.

One of today’s online trending topics is the  loss of  Karyn Washington; motivating founder of ForBrownGirls (www.forbrowngirls.com). I learned of Miss Washington through The#DarkSkinRedLipstick Project (www.darkskinredlip.com), which motivated black women to accept their beauty as a whole and not allow others to demean and distort what was beautifully created ~ self. The tagline for the project speaks for itself: ‘Breaking Barriers and Building Confidence’. And so it did just that.  To me, the project expanded beyond brown girls because it was primarily about the acceptance of self and not allowing society, groups, ideologies to define what a person should wear, how they should feel, and who they should be. Karyn inspired thousands of black women and those that love them across the nation. She was passionate about her mission and perpetuated the idea of self empowerment! And for that I am grateful to have learned of her project.

The  sad part of this post is the report that we loss Karyn to the demise of suicide. While thousands of women were being empowered by her words, her encouragement, her national movement, Karyn was obviously dealing with her own despair. To those of us that weren’t her besties, her family, or even her closest confidant, she was seen as strong. The question is now surfacing as to how such a strong messenger doesn’t save herself. The point is no one is exempt from questioning themselves; their purpose; their longevity. Everyone has a bad day and for some, those days become longer than ever desired. Mental illness, such as depression, is a topic of discussion that comes and goes and often only when we lose great souls such as Karyn. It is important to keep her legacy in our memories. Not only while she was here on earth did she help many women realize their strengths, but now that she is gone may she continue to do the same. Through ForBrownGirls and The#DarkSkinRedLipstick Project she inspired others and we must continue to inspire ourselves and those around us. Share a ‘I love you’ or ‘You’re going to make it through’ to those that you love that may or may not be struggling emotionally. Her words; her message made a difference and yours could be just the ones that saves another life.

Through her passionate life many lives were enhanced. Let’s remember Karyn Washington and all the beautiful women whose demise was brought on by suicide. May they teach us the lessons that we know carry us on to the days to come and unite with others to do the same.

To her family and friends please accept condolences from the Passion Living Out Loud blog and community…

#anotherangelhasexited

Be Bossy!

Boss There’s a new trending topic as of late about being a ‘BOSS’. Most are referencing being in charge, to take charge, running things, etc. Bosses are usually considered to be the head of a team, department, or company. I’ve even heard a husband call his BOSS his wife, but I laugh and digress about that definition. Bosses come up with strategies, put plans into motion, and oversee the implementation of the plans. Today I wanted to look at the term BOSS in a more immediate and personal way. To me, being a boss can be much more than a position, its a state of mind.

What do I mean? Being a boss doesn’t have to be a paid position. It doesn’t have to come with a neat name tag or desk name plate. In fact, you can be and should be YOUR OWN BOSS. Say what again? You should head up your own life. Treat your life as if it’s the biggest deal you’ll ever close on. What things should you put into to place to be successful; to be happy? Your goals, your passion(s), your desires are all about putting ideas to work and following through with them. You have to supervise your life. You are responsible for the outcome of what you want out of life. No one else. You know if you’ve passed or failed a task. Did you give it your all? Evaluate yourself. Re-evaluate yourself. Make adjustment where it’s needed. No one else can head up your life. It doesn’t mean you can’t learn from others, but the way you choose Let’s turn the concept of being a boss into being THE BOSS of your destiny.

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