I've never really had an epiphany. But I have had plenty of little moments in my life where I've realized I need to make drastic changes in order to push myself to grow.
There are a lot of distractions that hold people back from pursuing whatever it is they're striving towards. Flaky friends, bad habits, junk food, television, listening to horrible music. All things that we cling on to that only make things harder on ourselves.
Not everyone is born with that constant desire to want more and be more. Some people need added motivation. Some people need tough life lessons. And some people need to hit absolute rock bottom before they turn their life around.
Regardless of what point you are in your journey right now, I promise you it's not too late. And I promise, you need it.
Take a second to think about everything that is weighing you down right now. It could be something as big as getting laid off. It could be credit card debt. Or it could something as small as your lawn not looking the way you know it should and you're terrified that your landlord is going to be pissed when they see it.
No matter what it is, it bothers us all the same. It sits in our brain like a hurricane, flooding all of our other thoughts. Drowning out all of the positive things in our lives.
In reality, we have a million more good things going for us than bad things. We are alive. We have food. You are probably reading this on a phone or a tablet or a laptop, something billions of people on this earth can't dream of owning.
Yet, we still go back to those negative thoughts. Telling ourselves we won't amount to anything. Asking ourselves how we are adults and we still don't own our own home. Somehow convincing ourselves that the life choices we have made are mistakes.
Everything that is happening in your life right now is by design. It was all meant to be. If you are hit with obstacles and challenges, it is because life is telling you that it's time to be tough and push through. If everything is great, then that means you need to take advantage of this time in your life.
Too often we look to the negative and use it as a reason as to why we aren't the best versions of ourselves. In our society, it is more popular to hate on what others are doing and doubt their decisions.
We need to take a look in the mirror and ask ourselves What am I doing to better myself and those around me? And I think yelling at others or just telling them to be better isn’t the way to get through to them.
The hardest part about helping others, is understanding what is going on in their life. They could be battling all kinds of negativity at home, at work, at school, or even within their own mind. It becomes difficult to have tough conversations with those around around you.
But as I have navigated through life, I have learned that spreading positivity is never a bad choice. Making yourself an example to others on how to treat yourself and the people around you is never a bad choice. Being nice is never a bad choice.
I know that I'm not always the nicest person. I have to constantly remind myself to treat others the way I wish to be treated. Being a positive influence on others can become uneasy when I look at myself and know that I'm not where I want to be in life. How could I possible influence others?
So I have a suggestion for all of you reading this. Do just one nice thing for someone else everyday. Whether its surprising your best friend with tickets to a concert, or just sending a "Hey, how are you doing?" text to someone you haven't talked to in a while.
The way I am going to be sharing positivity with others is by sending people postcards with an inspirational quote. Every person who shares this article will get a postcard. Just message or text me your address and wait for some positivity to come your way.
It's all about Positive Vibrations...
Here's the story about when my wife told me that she is pregnant with our second child...
Being able to raise our first born together has been incredible. My wife and I have grown so much as parents. We have learned from our child how to truly love life. Being a father has been the greatest era of my life, I cherish every moment with my son.
However, this is not to say that this shit isn't rough. Some days I find myself asking the question, "How the hell did my parents make it out alive with my ungrateful ass." Kids are the greatest, most terrifying, disgusting, beautiful, and foul creatures to ever walk the planet. They run shit, and I can't do shit about it.
My son is so damn cute, he gets whatever the hell he wants. He could literally fling a piece of his own crap on me, and an hour later he'd somehow convince me to give him a bite of my ice cream. I can't believe I love this kid.
I love being a father, but the thought of another child still scared me. Raising another human while still trying to raise another little human while growing together with my wife while continuing to grow as an individual while living in this world. It's some heavy shit to think about.
So when my wife told me that she was pregnant, my initial reaction wasn't quite the same as the first time. I have to be honest, I was terrified. I was trying to convince myself it wasn't true, knowing damn well I was well aware of the risk I took when we were, uh, ... making the child ... Sorry mom.
The next two days, I swear I didn't say a word to anybody. My coworkers would be talking to me and it felt like everything was silent. The only thing I could hear were my thoughts. They were loud af. Asking myself a million questions.
But they all ended with the same answer. The bottom line is that I wouldn't trade this life for anything. Reminding myself that everything happens for a reason. It scares me for all the right reasons.
Having another child means that I will grow more as a man. The experiences will push me towards something better for my family. It will continue to drive my inspiration to be better. And I know this, because it already has.
While I am still terrified, being able to look at all the blessings it will bring makes it pretty hard not to be excited. Bringing another life into this world is honorable to those who cherish it. Who know that they will truly do whatever it takes to give this child everything it needs to live an incredible life.
It's ok to be scared of change, as long as you are accepting of it. Life is going to continue to surprise you, you just have to continue to grow with it. Think about all of the things in your life to be grateful for, and know that this is all just a simulation.
I miss Derrick Rose in his prime. The Chicago Bulls were one of the best teams in the league at the height of his career. They created a young and gritty contender for the Miami Heat when they had their Big 3.
The Bulls now see themselves as a part of trio of teams that will be the worst in the league next season. If only they had a genie to wish for one player that could turn them into contenders again.
I wouldn't say I'm a genie, more of a dreamer.
I was looking for a nice picture that would encapsulate the team that they will be putting out on the floor next season. But this ended up being the most revealing picture I could find.
This would be their only chance at winning games. Tackling players. Too bad it is not legal.
However, we don't care about rules here. But there is one guy that could make this team instantly a contender without breaking said rules. Let's dive into the Bulls roster and style of play first and ponder who would be the perfect fit.
Fred Hoiberg hasn't done much since he made the jump from coaching college basketball. But in all fairness, he hasn't had much to work with. It is difficult to win a championship without one of the three best players in basketball, let alone get to the playoffs without a superstar at all.
The Bulls have made a decision to try to build the team through youth and depth. Similar to with how the Atlanta Hawks are trying to build their team, the number one ingredient is patience. But even in failure, they have made a few moves to try to make themselves a destination in the near future.
The acquisition of Zach Lavine is going to be a homerun. They took a chance on a young and injured budding star, and it looks as if it will be favorable for them. In the 27 games that he did play, he was the teams leading scorer in terms of points per game with 16.7.
Free agency went about as well as it could for a team that won just 25 games last season. Jabari Parker was once looked at as the future of the Milwaukee Bucks. Until the future of the Bucks actually showed up and proved to be a terrible fit for both Parker and the team.
So he chose to go back home to Illinois to try to play for a new contract in a place that looks to be a perfect fit. With him and Lavine both heading into their 5th season, they will be the veterans on a young team. Last season they were 9th in terms of Pace of Play, which is pretty interesting considering the fact that they were terrible at everything else.
Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen both add versatility and shooting to their respective positions. And the most recent draft pick in Wendell Carter Jr. makes their young squad filled out at every position. But there is one position they haven't filled, The Killer.
Kevin Durant could not only fix the Chicago Bulls, but he could fix his own legacy at the same time. Similar to how when Lebron was done in Miami, he chose to go to a terrible Cleveland team and bring a championship to a city that hadn't seen one in decades. Sure he can do it with a great squad, but can he do it with anyone?
The Bulls really are a squad full of anyone's, but Kevin Durant is 100% ungaurdable. And his two Finals MVPs solidifies his rank as one of the top three players in the world. And a move to the Eastern Conference would make him instantly the best player amongst his conference opponents.
As the Warriors and Bulls were completely on opposite ends of the spectrum, one thing they were similar in was Pace of Play. The Warriors were slightly faster than the Bulls as they were good enough for 5th in the league. So the transition of style would be no issue for Durant.
Durant shot an unbelievable 51% from the field last season and 42% from three-point land. Pairing him with another lengthy forward in Lauri Markkanen would stretch the defense in ways unimaginable. Markkanen broke the record for fastest player ever to make 100 three-pointers. Having two 7 foot guys who can shoot three's at an efficient rate would create headaches for opposing defenses.
The biggest question mark for this team would be the point guard position. But Durant was one of the best players in the NBA last season in isolation. So essentially, in a worst case scenario, Durant could just run the entire offense. And if that is a team's worst case scenario, they have a pretty could chance of being legitimate contenders.
The team who led the league in attendance last season would have their best player since MJ. And the crazy Chicago fans would show nothing but love for KD. Kevin Durant could fix the Chicago Bulls, but unfortunately he wouldn't be able to fix DRose's knees *crying emoji*
I miss how KD used to make me feel...
With Lebron choosing to go to the Los Angeles Lakers, it got me thinking about which players could instantly turn non-playoff teams into winning teams. We’ll go through each team that didn’t make the playoffs last season and add one superstar that could help them get to the playoffs in the 2018-19 season. Since Lebron and Lakers already linked up, we’ll leave them out. But all you other crappy teams, get ready to live out your fantasy.
The Atlanta Hawks are going to be the worst team in the NBA next season. They may get some competition from the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, and Orlando Magic. But don’t worry, they’ll be the terrible-est.
But they don’t need a superstar, they traded for Carmelo Anthony... HA! The highest paid player on their team won’t play for them this season, or ever. So who could in theory fix this terrible team? Well first, let’s dive into their style of play.
The Hawks are looking to start from scratch, and that starts with a new head coach in Lloyd Pierce. Pierce was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers for the last 5 seasons, pretty much the entire existence of The Process. He helped build a playoff team through the use of analytics, developing three-and-D players, and (most importantly) patience.
It is going to take a lot of patience with this young squad, but youth could actually be a positive when paired with the right superstar. Besides Vince Carter, the most experienced player on the team next season will be Jeremy Lin who is heading into his 9th season.
I’m a Lin supporter, but he’s not exactly the veteran guy to build a team around. And for a team that was dead-last in attendance last season, he won't exactly move the needle.
With the last three draft picks of Taurean Prince, John Collins, and Trae Young, it’s obvious that the team is trying to build a corps of athletic wings and guards who can space the floor. This youth will lead to some very fast-paced play. And with the anchor on the defensive end in Kent Bazemore, they will need a big time scorer who can control the court on the offensive end.
With a squad full of young and underdeveloped players, the only thing that could help this team is one of the top two players in the world. And with Lebron out of the question, Steph Curry is the only answer. The Eastern Conference doesn’t have any of the top 5 players in the world, so the addition of Steph would instantly make them one of the 3 best teams in the East.
Only 6 other teams shot more three-pointers than the Hawks last season. With the addition of Steph and Trae Young, this number would only increase. They also played at a pace of play that was fast enough for 9th in the league.
Three-point shooting and speed is what made this team last year, and in order to make them successful they would have to continue to do the same things. Just at a much higher level of efficiency.
Its obvious to say that you can add Steph Curry to any team and they will be good enough to be a playoff team. But this team is bad, like real bad. On paper and in real life. But it’s the winning culture that he would bring that would be the driving factor in pushing this team to the top.
The two-time MVP and three-time NBA Finals Champion instantly raises the level of play for the entire organization. If Trusting The Process is something you believe in, this would be the complete opposite of that. This would be like a cheat code in a video game.
The Warriors are an incredible team even without Steph... but are they really? His On/Off numbers are staggering considering the teammates he has on the floor when he's off the court. The Offensive Rating is the stat that jumps off the page, as the Warriors were 122.8 with Steph on the floor compared to 107.9 with him off.
The Hawks as a team were 25th in the league last season in Offensive Rating, and only The Baby Faced Assassin could do anything to fix that. Trae Young showed his range in college and in the NBA Summer League. If you could pair that up with a guy who can make half-court shots routinely in Steph Curry, they could fix the Atlanta Hawks.
Steph Curry once dropped 30 in a half in the NCAA tournament...
"I'm finna spit it, with a clear tone, Get yo attention, The biggest thang since the T.V. invention"
Mac Dre's words still flow through our brain as time continues to pass.
His music is standing the test of time, as he can still stand with all the greats in the history of Bay Area artists. His presence alone made an impact on an entire generation of artists. He helped pave the way for young artists who represent the sound of the bay.
Although this sound has drastically changed over time, we can still feel the rhythm and soul that he perpetuated. And we can see the vision that Mac Dre had dreamed of for the land he loved. The Sound of The Bay lives on.
P-Lo of the Heartbreak Gang has been the living, breathing, hyphy'ing example of what it means to represent the Bay Area sound. His younger days as a producer showed that he had the ability to create a new fresh style to the Hyphy sound.
Mac Dre was always about going stupid, but he could switch it up and bring you some pimpin' advice. He could teach you how to dance while on Thizzles, and then switch it up and tell you about how the justice system is fucked up. This versatility is now the bar that is set for these young artists.
P-Lo offers everything needed from a successful Bay Area artist. And his latest hit gives the listener a chance to remember what got us here.
P-Lo and Oakland native ALLBLACK created the Bay Area hit of the summer for 2018 with "no idea" off of P-Lo's new album prime. The music video has many visuals of what keeps Northern California unique. Art, dance, cars, and sights of the Bay Bridge that brings us all together.
Whenever you hear "P-P-P-Lo... Time to bring the bass back" you know it's about to be a banger. The heavy use of claps gives the listener a chance to go dumb to the sound. The smooth piano allows the artists to tell their stories over the beat.
It feels like it could have been released at any point in the history of Bay Area rap music and people would still move to it. The opening line of the song sets the tone for a positive self image.
Ain't nobody like me, bitch I'm custom
The chorus feels like it was inspired by the stylings of E-40. The use of Bay Area slang can be traced back to man who used the hyphen in his name first. If you don't think that the sound of the bay has improved drastically over time, just think about the chorus to "Tell Me When To Go" and compare it to this one.
Don't you know I got the city on lock?
The beat itself offers so much versatility that it was able to maintain a beautiful sound with two artists who have completely different flows. ALLBLACK came into the beat hard, similar to what we've heard from other young Bay Area artists like SOB x RBE.
The mixture of these different cultures of hip-hop coming together for a Bay Area hit shows what Northern California has to offer to the world. Not only in music, but in the future of how we treat each other.
We have seen diversity of races begin to tear our country apart, but Northern California won't allow it to affect them. Not only are we seeing different races begin to come together, but we are finally starting to see life through each others eyes. And ALLBLACK represents that in his verse here.
She support me when I'm down, won't quit when it's tough
I think at the end of the day, most of us have no idea what the answer is to a better future. But coming together is probably a good place to start. This song helps represent what makes the Bay Area unique.
The sights, the sounds, and the feeling you get when you're blasting this music in your house while cleaning and you're shaking your dreads that you don't have. It all brings us back to what Mac Dre once said,
"Servin' fat game that you couldn't imagine,
Boy I could talk a cat off a fish wagon,
or sell an eskimo ice at a high price,
and get him twice,
man I'm nothin nice,
and Game is my merchandise,"
That has nothing to do with this, but I just always thought it was crazy that he said that.
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.