I Want To Be Great For Vain Reasons

I want to share a personal flaw with you. I want to share with you this bad habit I have of calling out people that I feel suck or are inferior when it comes to their profession or craft. This isn’t me yelling at the TV during my favorite sporting event or even me critiquing rappers, which I also love doing. This is more personal. This is me looking at the broadcasting industry I choose to be in and the people in it and the work put in or lack there of.

Do I ┬áthink I am the best? Hell no! In fact, I would love to get more game, insight and have more people to call mentors as I build what I hope is a 20, 30 and beyond year career. I just get upset when I see people not taking full advantage or squandering an opportunity. Daily and hourly, I listen to media personalities. Some are super dope and really putting in work and making the most of their time. Others not so much. The not so much people are the ones that bother me. They are the ones who have gotten a great opportunity and feel the race to be great is over. At least it sounds like that to me. They don’t mind being mediocre, going through the motions or doing just enough. It irks my soul and somedays, I can’t let it go and say nothing about.

We live in a time where “popular is the new talent” and now a huge following will make people see a skill-set in you. To a degree, I’m not upset at that. What upsets me is when you get that opportunity and you don’t try to become at least “pretty damn good” at what you were given an opportunity to do. I was told within my first week of media school that it’s about “Who Knows You” and how that will be a huge part in your future opportunities. I’ve watched that happened. Sometimes I can salute it and say “great work!” Other times I’m like “it’s been X amount of years and you’re still not even pretty good at this; Why?”

My last gig, I wanted to be at bare minimum pretty damn good at everything. I learned my job, the basics of other people’s jobs and then wanted to try my hand at doing those positions or helping. Now, that definitely rubs people the wrong way. Hence why I call it a personal flaw. However, I just think that’s how it should be. We should want to be great and know all that we possibly can in our chosen industries. How will you stay in if you don’t know more than your current job?

One day, I’m going to have a social media following so huge that I will get handed a TV or Radio Show just because “I’m popping right now”. When that happens, I’m not going to mail it in. I’m going to practice even more. I’m going to gain more information, write, rehearse and repeat and consume myself with being great at the opportunity provided. I’m going to do that for my right to critique. It’s not even a competition thing for me. I want to be great, so I can say “Dude, you suck!” and the only thing that can be said in return is “Well, everybody can’t be you” or just an insult. I can deal with that. That means the work ethic, the skill and the talent is all there and I am maxing out on it. So when I make a statement of your lack of effort or quality, it really should be taken to heart. The best isn’t always number 1 in this media game, so I don’t feel the need to focus on that. But when it comes to men and women in this game making the most of their time and opportunity. That’s a completely different ball game. That ballgame should always be played to win. Cause now more than ever, there are no guarantees and a wasted opportunity will lead to less chances taken in the future. For years I’ve heard stories of how “so and so” did this and that left a bad taste in my mouth so now “I won’t waste time doing this again.” You’re right, it shouldn’t be that way, but it is. That’s why I hate to see others half ass great opportunities. Opportunities that I would never take lightly or slack on a day.

Yeah, I want to be great for vain reasons. I’ve come to accept that about myself. However, notice how I don’t ever hope or wish anyone fails or never gets a shot. Understand this is me saying that I just want people to try harder. I’m not a hater. I just like to listen, watch and associate myself with quality work. I don’t like this “Popular, Green Ribbon Era”. I’m not out here to earn completion points. I’m trying to be remembered as a legend in whatever I put my effort into. I just wish everybody else felt that way.

The Struggle of Who I Should Be

It’s tough to look at your life and not see what you saw as a teenager. It’s even more difficult to see the constant changes you’ve made in route to success and you still not feel or look successful by your own standards.

These are the things that plague my mind on a monthly basis. Some days I don’t know if I’m too hard on myself or if I just don’t have the patience I need for “my turn”.

I don’t compare myself to others because I know there isn’t anyone like me, but even in my happiness for others makes me beat myself up. That’s how I know I’m not a hater. I can see someone achieve, big them up and the get on my own ass about where I’m not. Often I’ll look myself in any available mirror and say “Damn Cam. People you know out here winning. What TF you on?” Others times it’s “Damn they doing they thing! I need to get on my ish! My punk ass out here slacking.” I think the long hard look at yourself and a simple “Ok man. Let’s get our life together” helps. Problems is I may be mastering at taking it too far. It leads me to this mental struggle of “Who am I?” and “How come I haven’t gotten to where I want to be yet?”

I look at all the times I’ve “switched up”, “changed” “reinvented” and what it really meant about me. Am I a quitter? Do I not think things through enough? Do I overthink things? Do I give my creations and ideas enough to to stick? Right now I stand in a place where I’m not sure what any of it meant. Whether Shoohstopugh [Show Stopper] “The Captain” “Web Cam” [given] or CamQuotes, they all felt like the right thing. However, they all ended with somewhat of a white flag than with a bang. Did I give up? Did I just take an alternate route? Was I really doing and being me? None of that is sure. Only thing I can say is I tried. Effort and passion was in each period and I enjoyed the ups even if they weren’t so high. In the time of all those changes, I watched people after me come through and flourish. I’ve also watched people get the opportunity to try and fail. I would have taken either, to be honest. I’ve always wondered why at the very least, I’ve never been thrown to the wolves to “try and fail”. Things like that make you doubt your own purpose or make you think you have no idea what your true purpose is.

I now feel that I am in a place where I can be everything I have been over the last 17 years. I can combine all my previous world’s, make them extensions of me and people will finally get it. As a writer I have layers of imagination. I know my brain doesn’t work normally, even for a creative process. The trying and failing takes it’s toll to where doubt is prominent in your mind. However, working regular jobs with people of mediocre expectation is worse for the mind and spirit. It shows you where you don’t belong and that it’s not the right struggle to endure. I’ve tried everything but giving the world me with no buffer or filter. So far so good. For another time in my life “my turn” doesn’t seem so far away.

Encouraging Layla Reign’s Star

Today is 50’s day at Layla’s school. She has her outfit on and she looks cool! She took pics at home smiled big and was ready for the day.
As she got closer to the school. She asked if she had to take the bus home. She was told yes and then became afraid and anxious that other kids would make fun of her and her outfit.

Her mom stepped in and told her the entire school would be dressing up because it was a spirit day. She also said she would get on the bus and speak up and defend Layla and always have her back. I agreed with all that but added this.

I told Lay, “You are being an individual and not everyone understands that. You are great because you are being you. The people that will try to make fun of you are trying to be like everybody else. Never be afraid to be who you want to be. You do you and let everybody be like each other” Then I went on to tell her how beautiful she is and how cool she looks and how participating in school spirit and activities is the cool thing to do.

When she got to the school she seen some of her other friends dressed up. Some in the same style of outfit that she had on. She began to smile again. It made me feel a lot better for the rest of her day. Before we parted I added extra on my encouraging words to her. I told her “You Are Special, You are amazing. Have fun. Be great. Daddy loves you.

I’ll admit my daughter doesn’t have the thickest skin. She’s very outgoing when she wants to be and she definitely is eclectic in her thinking and style. I never want her to lose that. I see the joy in her face and the new life and energy in her when she has an idea and sees it through. It inspires me and I’m the adult/parent. I don’t want her to lose that because ultimately that would lead to a suppressed or lost part of herself. I don’t want a regular child. I want my Layla Reign. Because Layla Reign is the author of her own “cool”. I encourage her thoughts and actions as long as they are positive and don’t hurt anyone. I want her to dream big and understand the world is hers as long as she believes it.

To all parents out there that may see this. Encourage and uplift your child’s individuality. Let them know how that makes them special and how it’s building the “star” within them. It’s the unique people in this world that actually contribute to it and shape it to be great. I want my daughter to be in that elite class of people who change this world by being herself. What’s fun about being the person watching the change?

Social Media Fame: The New American Way

Yesterday, A friend posted that they unfortunately been laid off from their job. I reached out, but really had nothing to say outside of the standard cliche encouraging phrases that we all hear or use at a time like this. It sucks personally because I would love to be the person that sees a post like that and can then provide an opportunity for a friend instantly so they wouldn’t have to worry about the loss of their previous job. Then you don’t want to tell a friend. Be ratchet, be a T.H.O.T, get naked for the Snap or the Gram or just do some dumb ish and you’ll be straight. That sounds like terrible advice, but it’s actually the best way to grab fame and find your next career opportunity, no matter what field it is. Billion dollar companies are cutting checks to any spectacle in sight all for the purpose of having eyes on their brand. Fame has become a great leverage component. Possibly more than ever before if you want to do your own thing.

It’s seems like now more than ever the world is aware of the two aspects of the workforce. You either work for somebody or you’re working for yourself. And although I’m sure their are exceptions to the rule it seems that the “Great secure job” no longer exist. What is a great secure job?

Great Secure Job Checklist

  • Compensation that allows you to live comfortably
  • Inexpensive insurance that covers basic needs
  • Growth and Opportunity from position
  • Respectable work-life balance
  • Great office and company culture/ethics

I unfortunately don’t know anyone that is working for someone that has all 5 of these things. In my own personal job search and experience, I’ve seen very little respect for work-life balance and no real growth and opportunity. If you love your job/career choice than the work life balance goes as an unnoticed need. However, everything else, you definitely need to keep longevity in your career.

I understand the Entrepreneur boom. Sure it’s the new trendy buzzword and lifestyle choice, but it also is the only true way out of the rat race. If you can’t find a job or keep a job you have to create a job. If you don’t have job security, you will need as many alternatives as possible. Every business takes money so that stalls a lot of progress, but not every job is definitely paying you enough to live in your place of choice. What is an American to do?

We are in a time where being popular can get you the paycheck that you were told talent or a degree would. Pride and dignity are thrown to the side everyday for a payday, but who do we truly blame for that? This is also why Gary Vee’s “find what you’re good at” message is so powerful. Anything you do in the world can make you money. You truly do just need to find out what the thing is and as Gary says, “Double or Triple down on that” to achieve success.

I write this as a person who is trying to get back to earning a paycheck in the broadcasting field, yet working to get my brand as a writer off of the ground. I wish I could think of something dumb, disrespectful or ratchet to do on social media so an opportunity could be handed to me and I can flip that fame into something profitable for my family. You think I haven’t thought of stooping to the lowest of lows and “Sloring myself out” just to get some followers and likes on my accounts for the greater good? Well I have. My pride and the women in my life that love me are the only reasons why I haven’t done it. I’m sure millions think like that too. Because flipping social media fame to career success is the new American way.

From Challenge To Lifestyle: #HealthEvolution #LifeEvolution

Today marks the official completion of my September discipline challenge. My goal was to lift weights for 10 days this month. I started September 4th and have officially finished September 19th.

What I can tell you off top is that I feel good! I feel accomplished. I am happy to say that I set my mind to do something and I did it. On the surface lifting weights for 10 days doesn’t seem too hard. But when you aren’t lifting at all and trying to change your lifestyle, it’s pretty major.

This isn’t just a one off challenge. It’s also not an attempt at a hobby. I wanted to use these days to develop a new part of my lifestyle. I want lifting weights and being in great shape to become apart of my fabric. Not that I want to be in competitions or be a personal trainer or anything like that. I just want to be a black man that is in excellent condition. That’s a great enough reason for me. I plan to be around a long time for my family and to see my other goals through. Can’t do that if your sluggish, flabby and sick.

If you are trying to start a transition to a healthier lifestyle, maybe what I did will work for you. Here was my mindset day 1 to day 10.

  • Don’t push too hard. Especially if you’re lifting alone
  • Create a fun and competitive pace for where you are not where you want to be
  • Start everyday with cardio to get a good sweat and loosing you up
  • You don’t need to spend hours working out. 30-45 minutes will get you right most days
  • Pick a different set of muscles everyday
  • Switch up a workout or two to add more excitement to the routine
  • Pick Music that keeps you motivated. I used a lot of violent rap music

This is what I used to push myself and keep me interested. There wasn’t one day I dreaded going to the gym. I had some sore days, like today, but I didn’t push so hard that I could barely move or wanted to skip days. I took a marathon approach. Yeah, I was salty I had to drop all the way down to 20 lbs for dumbbell curls, but today, I’m officially up to 3 sets with 30’s. My muscle memory is returning and I feel myself getting stronger and already seeing slight results. The small progress I seen the last 10 days has me wanting to go hard daily.

I’m too old to not have any muscle definition. I want this to become a habit. A lifestyle but not quite an addiction. I say that only because I don’t want to be overly obsessed with my appearance and doing anything to look perfect. Plus, I’m already addicted to success. That addiction applies to every portion of my life.

The valuable lesson I learned was, go at your own pace, compete with yourself and results are eminent. It takes work, sweat and pain to cause change. So how bad do you want to change?

Thinking Really Fawking Big!

I spent a good portion of today thinking big things. Clothes I can’t purchase. Cars I can’t afford. A life that seems unrealistic and man has that been fun for my mind!

I’m over being practical, realistic and keeping my mind within the realm of my “living means”. How will you ever get more if you never think about getting and having more? What is inspiring about not being able to escape your own reality and keeping yourself in the mediocre world that you should be trying to elevate out of?

Whether you call them dreams, goals, aspirations or a “To-Do List” make sure it is something that is larger than your current life. Anything we want in this world is attainable. If you feel it in your heart, think in your mind and it lifts your spirits positively. It is a real thing that you should work for. You should work for it to achieve it and feel accomplishment that you acquired it. Then set your sights and mind on something bigger.

Go and get more. Go and get it all. If you don’t, you’re going to live mundane and die. That sounds weak as hell.