Transcending the 8-Hour Workday and Embracing the Hu$tle

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Good Things Come to Those

Ever wonder why people come to our country from foreign lands and make out better than we do? It’s because, by comparison from whence many of them have come, America’s street’s truly are paved with gold. The difference is their point of view. They see the opportunity of being able create several streams of income, whereas we make excuses with empty pockets.

In the United States, most of us experience challenges unique to the First World (I wrote about this in a previous blog post called Zero World Problems). To the average person surviving in the upper middle class, the WiFi connection going down is a major game changer. Typically, within a few blocks or miles of our comfortable homes, some people are sorting through trashcans and living in boxes.

Regardless of who takes the Presidency or which two teams are going to the Super Bowl, I believe that most of us can transcend our existences and actually LIVE, provided we see things outside our traditional jobs. You see, a job (which to some is an acronym for “just over broke”) is there to take care of basic necessities: food; shelter; clothing; modes of transportation. However, I think when the work day ends, the hu$tle should begin.

Here’s the typical day for the average American:

  • Get up in the morning to go to a job we can’t stand
  • Sit around at said job bitching, complaining, and wishing we were somewhere else
  • Return home to gripe some more about what went on at work
  • Eat dinner, usually in front of the TV; still murmering about the job during commercial breaks
  • Go to bed only to start the cycle all over again
  • Pray for the weekends which tend to pass too quickly

However, by slightly changing our point of view, this is how it goes:

  • Get up in the morning to fulfill our work day
  • Because we’re grateful to be working, we do our jobs while imagining the day our side gigs will allow us the opportunity to choose to how we go about making our money
  • Return home ready to start investing in one or more hu$tles
  • Sometimes, dinner is on the run or doesn’t happen at all because we’re grinding
  • Go to bed, sometimes a little late; dream about the future we’re forging for ourselves
  • See our weekends as an opportunity to get more things done

Let’s face it: America is the new Rome. Our empire is the dominant super-power and we’ve become lazy. We allow ourselves to be spoon-fed heaping helpings of processed foods and hours of mind-numbing TV, while imagining more ways to waste our money on the latest technological upgrades. We sleep too much, eat too much, and complain too damn much. We’re more concerned with building someone else’s dream instead of defining and realizing our own.

Ask yourself: If I carve two hours out of my day to build my own business and invest in my family’s future, where will I end up 5 years from now? 10 years? 25 years? Is my legacy one of excuses and gripes or of freedom from unnecessary debt and financial security? What do I want to pass on to my kids, nieces, nephews, and godchildren?

I am writing this on a glorified three-day holiday weekend. While everyone else is scrambling over what to bring to the barbecue and which teams will be playing, I’m moving my figurative chess pieces forward. Not knocking sports or good food, but I have a dream to build and a destiny to fulfill. You should be doing the same.

The dream is free. The hu$tle is sold separately.

Get hu$tlin’.

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Life is Good: Watch My Smoke

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Good Things Come to Those

Life is good and, regardless of all the things I’ve studied, read, pondered, or conceptualized, I can only deduce that we’re here just once. That grants me license to live to the fullest. And, like a little kid fighting sleep, I don’t wanna miss a thing.

Though I keep myself busy, it doesn’t seem that I do enough. I’m currently working on a graduate degree, a new collection of stories to publish, recently adopted a rather intense exercise regimen, am a family man, and maintain an ever-changing schedule for my 9-to-5. Oh, and I just started a side business, too. LOL!

I was sitting in class with some of my fellow students last week. Each of them were professional students, as the course we were taking was all they did. Two of them were retired and collecting military checks; another was the wife of a retiree. One made jokes about watching his neighbors hustle off to work each morning while he sipped coffee in his robe.

I tried to image a day where I had nothing to do. What’s funny is that I have two basic modes: completely engaged and completely disengaged. Though I enjoy lazing about when time permits, it usually doesn’t happen for long. I never seem to sleep in, even when I have no appointment to meet. There always seems to be something to do, a new project to create, a new tale to spin, something new to learn. But that’s the key to me: constant mental movement. Even when I sit still and seem to hover on the verge of being comatose, I’m usually turning over a concept or story idea in my head.

Some folks think I am an overachiever, while others see me as completely lazy; I think I might fall somewhere in-between, though closer to the former. I am a learning machine and approach each day as would a bright-eyed, curious child. I have this crazy notion that there is nothing beyond my grasp. I am no better than anyone else, but I am driven to live a life without limits. The nice houses, cars, island vacations, accounts, etc., are only indicators of having the best in life. Again, going for the best and eventually achieving the best, makes me no better. Anyone else with the drive, determination, and nerve can do the same…may even do better. And God has the universe constructed so that there’s enough for us all.

But you’ve got to be willing to WORK for it!

So, as people sit on the sidelines, mouth hanging agape with a dumbfounded look on their face at what I’m doing, I encourage them to watch my smoke. However, in watching, my hope is that they use that to fuel and inspire their own advancement. I wish everyone the best in their personal pursuits.

That said, watch my smoke!