Hate it or Love it the Underdogs on Top

lebron-closeup-horiz-mctjpg-4724b2c543167698

[Chorus (50 then Game):]
Hate it or love it the underdog’s on top
And I’m gonna shine homie until my heart stop

Go head’ envy me
I’m raps MVP
And I ain’t goin nowhere so you can get to know me

Intro

The NBA Finals are over. The confetti that fell from American Airlines Area is cleaned up. The lights to the gym are turned off, and the seats are empty. The locker rooms no longer smell of champagne and sweaty men. The fan section no longer has popcorn and spilled soda sticking to the floor. It is all over. The Miami Heat repeat as champions, and the off-season begins.

If you are a sports fanatic or NBA junky you knew coming into the NBA season what the headline stories would be. Will King James be dethroned from Championship number 2? Will his supporting cast be up for the Challenge? Is LBJ the best player in the NBA? Anyone could tell you that Lebron James would be the focus throughout the regular season. This young man has been in the spot light his entire career, dating back to his high school, The Fighting Irish. Since living in Akron Ohio, LBJ has had to deal with flashing cameras, over aggressive media and rude analysis since a teen, comparisons to MJ and Kobe Byrant, his place in history, his mark on the NBA brand. At the age of 28, LBJ has been given a lot of responsibility (A lot of which he has not asked for/Some of which he did). All of this, not allowing, Lebron to be Lebron.

The Expectations

On June 26th, 2003 the NBA was given an instant attraction. Though the draft was filled with 3 other superstars (Do you remember who they are), they did not receive the hype, in which the kid from Akron received. This kid was already given the crown, and an audience was waiting to see if the crown fit perfectly. At the age of 17 he was given the nick name “The Chosen One, by Greg Kelly an SI senior editor (NBA Players usually do not come up with nicknames for themselves/If they did it was whack or not really a nickname), talked to NBA superstars on a regular basis (Tracy MacGrady, Antoine Walker, and coach John Locus of Cleveland at the time) and also spent time with rap legend Jay Z. Not to mention the $100 million dollar endorsements deals before a game on the hardwood.

His path and hype was like no other superstar who has ever entered the NBA nor any other professional sport. The expectations from no other individual have been this high. The pressure from teammates, organizations, fans and media was at its all-time high, not to mention he was still 17-18 at the time. Entering something new is easy when you have nothing to lose. The world (for some reason) gives you 1-2 years to mess up and make mistakes. Everything after that is considered a fail or you will be highly criticized for your actions. It only took 1 year for the world to focus in on LBJ and his progress as a superstar, and what he has YET to accomplish. Or better yet what he has to accomplish to be considered great. How did he respond?

Doubters

All of this and the world still doubts what he can do:

NBA Championships Details:

2011-12 with Miami Heat

2012-13 with Miami Heat

Awards and Honors by Type:

Season MVP – 4 times 
2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13

Finals MVP – Twice 
2011-12, 2012-13

Scoring Leader – Once 
2007-08

All-NBA First Team – 7 times 
2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13

All-NBA Second Team – Twice 
2004-05, 2006-07

All-Defensive First Team – 5 times 
2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13

Rookie of the Year 
2003-04

All-Rookie First Team 
2003-04

Overcome

Everyone makes mistakes. We go through life and learn from the decisions we make as an adult and as a kid. If we did not make mistakes and go through ups and downs we would not learn as much as we learn and grow as much as we grow. Everyone has their reasons for why they dislike Lebron James. Moving from Cleveland to Miami. The Decision. The way he plays the game. The way he speaks. What he does in the community. Possibly even the things he eats. How he works out. Some simply have no reason at all. Some just like to follow a trend that is floating in the media (The Bad Guy). Some just hate hearing comparisons to him and other players.

Lebron is amongst very few players (in the world of sports) who have been hated for being so damn good. Hated for making life choices, he felt (key word “HE”) would be best for him. Everyone believes to know what is right for Lebron James. In the mean time, he continues to do what he feels is right for himself. There comes a time in life where you have to make choices for you, you can either allow others to dictate future goals and dreams, or you can decide to determine these experiences and expectations on your own.

Lebron James went through a variety of hatred. Scooter Magruder has it all in his 2012 skit Stuff Lebron James Haters Say

Scooter makes a point of emphasizes to show that no matter what LBJ does throughout his career, people will always find a way to hate him, or dislike his accomplishment. And this does not “only” go for Lebron, James, this is a fact for everyone. Know matter how good or great you are at something, people will always try to find a way to bring you down, or make you feel less of a person. It is up to you to manage this storm, and come up with ways to weather the storm.

 Focus

Spending 7 years in Cleveland without a ring left Lebron upset and hungry for better results. A Decision in 2010 rocked the sports world and easily gave fans and media something to hold onto for a lifetime. Another loss in the 2011 NBA Finals to Dallas made one think and take a better look in the mirror.

The lessons learned through experience have forced Lebron into one or 2 mindsets. He could either allow others to determine his future or take control. Lebrons latest decision was overlooked this year. Lebron decided to block out all of those who negatively affected his game. He used these (Haters) individuals as motivation to create one he best all time performances over an NBA season/playoffs. And he said it best when he received his MVP award in-game 7.

Last Thoughts:

All of your failures should be used as motivation. The pressure and outside influences are more reasons why you should want to be successful. This should be the gas for your engine. Never take a negative comment too serious. Never allow a word or gesture to go to the heart. Use it. And create something out of it.

#BeAwesomeNow

Advertisements

How to Survive the First Month of School

first-day-of-school

Is your first day of school coming up? Are you wondering what your new teacher is going to be like? What pair of nikes you are going to use to sway new friends? What parties and exams are you going to skip or make a priority? What sport teams are you going to watch or try out for? How close is the nearest grocery store, and can I make it in my slippers?

It is about that time of the year again, back to school! For me, that means new kids, new parents, and new desire to inspire young minds to believe in themselves and be nice to one another. The summer is gone, and it is back to the grind in the classroom for many of us around the world.

 

Let’s talk about September

What are the main concerns of an elementary student? 1. Is my teacher going to be nice 2. What do I have for recess? When I was little, every year I would wonder if my teacher was going to be nice, or if I had to watch out for the Big Bad Wolf, or did mom pack my Dunkaroos, or will I have to trade my sandwich with another classmate. As we get older, these thoughts continue to run through our heads, only in slightly different context. 1. Will I meet new friends or like my boss/or professor 2. I should have ate breakfast today/I need to pack a lunch.

September is crucial to your survival in your new setting. The first month will separate the men from the boys. The women from the girls. Your idea and perception of your new setting and experience will be fresh. Your ears will be alert and your mind and body will be focused on the task at hand. But for how long? Some of us will be entering a new school. Some of us will be going back to a similar setting after the summer holidays. Either way, September is the start of the “new” year. How do you have a great start?

 

The First Impression is Key

Don’t show up to school in hammy down’s aka hand me down’s. I am not saying go out and buy the most expensive pair of shoes or t-shirt, I am saying take care of your self and look presentable. Carol Goman writes, “that moment that stranger sees you, his or her brain makes thousands of computations: Are you someone to approach or to avoid? Are you friend or foe? Do you have status and authority? Are your trustworthy, competent, likeable, confident?

 The decision of others and whether or not they will like or even deal with you are made quickly (7 seconds). Leave a great impression and you are well  on your way to an excellent week during the first month of school. Say hello to your collages. Shake the hand of your professor or teacher. Really mean what you say when talking to new people. Do the little things that count. Put in the work early and everything else is smooth sailing!

 Keep smiling

monkey_smiling

Being a teacher, I understand what it feels like to be exhausted from smiling and shaking hands with people you typically have nothing in common with or have know desire to be long-time friends with (sounds cruel but it is true). You can’t be best friends with everyone BUT you can be a great acquaintance. People can love to be around you even though they never see you.  Just keep smiling, just keep smiling, just keep smiling, smiling, smiling. Know one said you had to be everyone’s bestie on the first day. Smile, be polite and shake hands with everyone (use sanitizer often). This again, goes with your first impression. People will always remember your first encounter. This will set you up for easier interactions down the road.

Stay ahead of the Game

In my first year of university (for lack of better word) I sucked! I flat-out didn’t know what was doing, decided to watch sports instead of study, went for walks instead of reading and ate cereal to distract me from assignments. To often we allow ourselves to fall behind. We overlook what is ahead of us, and hope that it will magically complete itself the night before

Surviving September is about Staying a head of the Game. Sure, your friends will want to party. Your boyfriend will want to cuddle. Your friends will want to hangout and chat it up, talk about stuff you necessarily do not want to talk about anyway. Than don’t do it! When you are given an assignment, start it. You don’t have to finish it, but at least look and see what you have to do to complete it. A lesson plan, prepare for the week. Heck, prepare for the month if you have the time. A project to fulfill, do the research. Get the resources and be ready to produce some quality work.

Make a list of priorities and “at least”get started before the week that they are due. We all know what it feels like when Wednesday comes along, and you have a 4000 word essay due on Auscultation and Bromhidrosis by Thursday. Yeah, I don’t know what they mean either.

Don’t allow yourself to get in this position. Force yourself to make a list of up and coming due dates, and get started right away. The best feeling in the world is knowing that you are done something, when everyone else is scratching to make a deadline.

For me, I make a monthly schedule, of what I want to accomplish, by priority. I take 15-20 index cards, put a hole in each  one of them, and tie a string to hold them tight. I often check my dates and make sure I am on schedule. I see priority and needs and attack those ideas first. Life is a party, you will always have time for that. Friends will understand if they are true friends. Everyone else doesn’t matter.

Conclusion

September is the start of a new year. It is not quite, champagne and balloons yet, but it represents a new beginning. Every September students and professionals go back to the grind. Don’t be that person who, talks about doing things and never get’s it done. We all talk about this person and often fall in the same category at times. Put your words into action and do what it takes to be a head. What are you going to do to make this “new”year better than any other year?

As years go by, you will slowly understand the preparation, both mentally and physically to start fresh, and get off to a good start. The only people I know that can start poorly and still win are Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Muhammad Ali. I guess and a few others. Once you get on their laugh, you’ll have nothing to worry about 😉

Start the grind early!

In the mean time, continue to #BeAwesome

What I’ve Learned From Indiegogo, A Crowdfunding Platform to Raise Money

SupportAfricaCover3

Some of you may be late to the tea party, so here is an update: Be Awesome raised 10K with Indiegogo.com. 30% of our funds will go towards products and merchandise awarded to our backers. The other 70% will go towards Africa. This article will sum up my summer, campaign and future plans  with the movement.

Have you ever tried to Raise Money?

It took 4 months of thinking to figure out a fun way to raise money. I brainstormed ideas and thought about different concepts. I had no idea what to do.

We have all tried to raise money before. And if you are like myself, you understand that asking for money can be really hard and uncomfortable. How do you convince a stranger to support you? A smart idea, an easy concept and people who back you. Using  Indiegogo.com a fresh way to create a campaign, helped enormously in raising money and gaining global exposure!

How does Indiegogo work?

Indiegogo is an easy crowdfunding platform that ables others to donate funds easily. You create and idea or cause, describe it in detail, use images and or video to explain more and offer perks/rewards for your generous donors.

The most important part of creating an indiegogo campaign is a video and/or clear concept and idea. I was somewhat able to do this with my campaign: Be Awesome Africa . Our idea was to take 200+ t-shirts to a selected country in Africa. (My thoughts on this below)

Ups and Downs

After launching the campaign, I created time to sit down and really think about my idea. My mind started to wonder, “holy crap this idea is all wrong”. Why? Well why would you send 200+ t-shirts to a third-world country? I started to do a little research and ran across this article: The 7 Worst International Aid Ideas. As I scrolled down my heart skipped a beat and I see at number one 1. One million t-shirts for Africa. Was I shocked, not even a little.

Now usually number one is a good thing, but in this case it was not good at all. My idea and thoughts rapidly changed and my concept to take t-shirts to Africa (though my heart was in the right place) was entirely wrong. Sure I do believe these shirts can help others become motivated and live a happy life. I also believe they have the ability to make others follow their dreams as well. Did I plan to take 1 million like the company in the article above? No. But the point is, these countries need more than t-shirts.

Having the opportunity to speak with NGOS that are based in third world countries I started to realize my excitement overshadowed a bigger purpose. Like all people, I made a mistake. I quickly went to indiegogo and updated my message, telling everyone my new plan: To raised money to take a limited amount of t-shirts and use the rest to support families and groups in need. Such a relief.

How did I find support?

It was very challenging to find people to support my cause. I was extremely lucky to have really good friends and family members that helped out a lot. After thousands of tweets and facebook post and messages (Sorry) I continued to find support from everyone. I reached out to a number of newspapers and television stations, unfortunately I was unsuccessful. Finding publicity  is extremely important when trying to run a campaign. Television and newspapers only amplify the buzz and word of mouth about your product or campaign.

What I would have done differently

Research, research, research! It is so important to have a solid idea and concept before running a campaign. Talk to friends about it, share it with family, and do some serious research on how it is going to make the world a better place. If could change anything about my campaign it would be my pitch (main focus) and products. Though my products were good, I would offered less to keep orders less confusing.

What’s next for Be Awesome?

I have two goals by 2014. 1. Visit Rwanda and volunteer with children and families 2.  Be Awesome website up and running.

On October 8th-18th I will be traveling to Rwanda. Myself and a friend will be visiting local families and helping a local NGO: GraceRwanda with a variety of activities. We will spend our nights with a local family, explore and visit with a youth group and learn cultural and historic values with a women’s group from a local church. Once our schedule is confirm I will gladly post it online so you can keep track of our journey.

The website is coming (I Promise). I have been working with some  awesome designers and some new ideas and concepts to bring the Be Awesome idea a new taste. I am excited to show you what we’ve come up with. My idea is to launch before the end of November. More details about this will come later.

PS: Keep real friends close, be careful with everyone else..

Until Next Time,

Thanks again for all of the support!

Continue to #BeAwesome and give as much as you can!

I’m outta hurr!

Peace

 

Change is good :-)

I always enjoyed change. Whether it was trying something new in a restaurant or reading a new book, I’ve always embraced the not so common in my life. Last year I decided to teach in a foreign country, meet new friends and travel the world. For me, change has always brought the best out of me, and given me ways to learn more about myself.

Yes, it was completely out of the ordinary to move and teach in Kuwait. But if you stay with the status quo and do things that have been already been done, how will you create a legacy for yourself. If you are content with being similar to the person next to you, by any means continue to stay normal. If you ever want to be extraordinary, do things people think you can’t do.

When I think about change, I think about why I am doing it, and what I can get from it. From there, I think about whether or not this change is going to be good for me in the long run. Some people create drastic changes right away without doing the research first, or really thinking about their decision, which is fine but very risky and leaves no room for error.

Opportunities to change help your critical thinking skills. It demands deep thoughts and a rough sketch of your ideas. The changes in my life have allowed me to grow as a person, learn from my mistakes and begin to make decision on my own. Here are 3 reasons why change is good:

One: Change is an adventure

Adventure

I can definitely be the person to tell you that change is an adventure. It takes you outside of your comfort zone and makes you figure out things on your own. With that said, you do receive some help along the way, but for the most part, the final say goes through you. The idea of this adventure is to explore and see what is out there, what can you use from this experience to create a better you.

Two: Change is learning

LearningBlocks

Some people run from change. A regular way of living is to just go with the flow, allow things to happen, and simply do what ever you are asked. That said, change creates learning experiences that you can only receive on your own. At the end of the day, you need to be able to adjust when things are thrown at you from different angles. You are not always going to have someone to help you. You are not always going to have the pitch right down the middle. Change allows you to work on these skills and start doing things truly because you believe in them.

Three: Change is Opportunity

Opp

When I think about opportunities, and the possibilities of doing exactly what I want to do in life, I become overjoyed and excited for the changes that are about to happen once I pursue them. Opportunities come and go, the tricky part is deciding which one or two (or even three) you want to pursue and go with. Change allows you to explore these options. It opens many doors, and closes many as well.

Conclusion

You can probably think of a variety of reasons why change is good. The more you grow and explore, challenge yourself to do new things, you will realize the learning and growth that happens when you decide to make changes in your life. Ask questions and take risk. Be careful and mindful of your thoughts, and embrace difference.

How to deal with Making Mistakes

Why making mistakes are key to success:

A lot of people make mistakes. Sorry. Everyone makes mistakes. We do things that do not work. We try things knowing the possibilities of messing up or doing something wrong. Every day we do/ or go through something that we did not plan, or would have liked to work a little differently. That’s life. We sometimes have a hard time dealing with mistakes because we tend to believe all things should go a certain way to benefit from them. As I grow older, I realize more and more, how much this is not true.

TurnThePage

TurnThePage

Give 99% to the Task at hand & 1% to the after thought

When you do something that involves the possibility of messing up/or doing something wrong (which is almost everything) you have to go into, what ever it is you are doing, thinking about the greatest possibility. The best-case scenario. Of course the mishaps and fear of failure will come to mind. Bu that is not what you are trying to focus on. Try not to allow your insecurities to take over your thoughts and performance. You have to prepare as if you’ve already won, but hindsight understand what may or may not occur after.  I look at it like this, give 99% or your energy to the good of what can happen, and 1% to what may become a disappointment. Why? I tend to believe that disappointment should be dealt with when it arrives. Why think about disappointment before it happens? It takes away energy, and often causes one to second-guess themselves. Once the occasion is over, that is when you go back to the drawing board to think more about the 1% you discussed with yourself before the event.

Realization:

Everyone needs to come to a realization that we fail. We fail, and we fail often. It is a part of life and that is what happens when you try to do things to better yourself. The only way you can overcome something, and make the best out of life, is to fail and fail miserably. Once you understand that failing is an option, your mind can easily re-focus if failing takes place. Being trapped with the thought of success (to believe you will never fail) you are sitting yourself up for disappointment and an ultimate meltdown. Being real is an important part of life. It means understanding the possibilities, and what may happen. Be a realist. Be confident in the direction you are going, but stay humble when things do not go the way you want them to. Already know, before it happens what your next plan is if failure occurs.

New Beginning:

Find a way to love new beginnings.  One thing I love about failing is the opportunity to start over. Because you’ve already gone through the process of dealing with the ups and downs of your occasion, you now have a better understanding of what is needed to be successful (this understanding can be hard to find). The groundwork has already been done, and now you have to go back and evaluate what you can do to make this occasion better/successful next time. Take something from the beginning experience and learn from it. Make adjustments and apply them. We often fail and forget how we got where we are in the first place. Relax. New beginnings spark new interest, ideas, and ways of doing things.

——

Trail and Error is what we go through in life. We try something to see if it works. If it doesn’t work we try it again or we give up. It is that simple. Are you going to allow a mistake to dictate your future or influence the path YOU want in life? It is entirely up to you. Use mistakes to further your life and make things less complicated. Don’t allow disappoint to influence your future dreams. Keep following the path you want, and experience as much as you can while doing so

#BeAwesome

Be AWESOME Updates: New Line, Awesome Project, YouTube Collaboration and MORE!

Before anything, I would like to apologize for haven’t posting anything in a while. Things have been really busy here in Kuwait over the past number of weeks. In and between teaching and report cards, and finalizing some big ideas for the worlds fastest growing motivational brand, its been a ride I am sure I will never forget.

So what’s new:

My Life: Besides the 25 report cards I had to finish this week. The grades being entered into the computer. The NBA playoffs (My poor Clippers). Being sick (cold or some sort of flu). The past few weeks have been very challenging for me. I must say, I’ve had times were I looked myself in the computer screen (because that is where I usually am) and asked myself, is it worth it. And directly after these thoughts, I asked myself, why would I even think that. I believe that if you are trying to help others in ANY kind of what it is worth it. It is worth the heart ache. The pain and the suffering. So if you are out there like me, trying to make a difference in anyones life, through friendship, parenting, mentoring, anything! Don’t feel down or upset about it. Don’t let your ego, or hard work get in the way of making someone else’s life more fulfilling. Believe in good faith, and all that good faith will come back to you. Keep grinding everyone!

SignUp!

SignUp!

The NewsLetter: If you haven’t already you please check out our splash page. www.beawesomenow.ca Notice the .CA (yes I am Canadian) if you did not know.ahah Oh. Canada! We are going to release a news letter a week, that will let everyone know what we are doing as an organization, and what they can look forward to as we prep for a crazy and fulfilled summer.

GiveMore

GiveMore

Charities/Organizations: We’ve locked down a number of cool charities and NGO’s that we are really excited about. We are unable to confirm their involvement just yet because of paper work that has to be filed and returned. We currently have 6 that are really interested, and 3 that have confirmed they want to get involved! For a start, that is AWESOME. The tough part about this is, I am still me. My friends know me, my followers (kinda know me), and these individuals, do not know me at all. I understand that it is hard to trust people now a days, and that is what I am trying to build this company with “TRUST”. To those of you who’ve given me the go, and have shown the smallest amount of interest, I am honoured and I thank you for that! Stay in the loop for more on these organizations and what they have to offer. We will be working with some awesome people!

Website: For me this has been the most challenging part of my early stages of building this brand. In the past it was easy (well not easy, but sort of in a way that I needed to get things and the word out there as fast as possible) things were kind of rushed, and not done professionally (in my opinion). This time everything is being done in progress. We are taking the steps to make this company “real”. Not just an online store. Not just a fancy website with cool pictures. We are going to re-vamp the way you look at websites and the value of information you receive.

Our new look is clean, photo heavy, and dependent on motivation and inspiration by you. You will find daily motivation to keep you going. Clean images for reminders of what life really means. People and stories to think about. We are giving you a place to come, relax, take some time out of your day and really find the meaning of life. What we have so far is #AWESOME. I cannot say more, about the guys at www.qnacreatives.com and what they’ve done for me as a new company. All I can say is stay tuned! You are sure to be impressed by our decisions on this website.

awesome10New Line: Lots of exciting news in regards to our new line and what we’ve decided to do with what the world provides to us. We are changing the look and feel of the shirts “entirely”. New logo’s (as you can see), new designs but the same motivation and purpose. We’ve taken a sweat-shop free approach to our-line that includes a number of incentives that we will release through our newsletter. We are excited about this change and we hope you are to. Our fitted tees and sweaters will be more dry, comfy and motivational. We plan to release a number of limited edition products as well.

The Awesome Project: If you haven’t read the news letter, I will give you a little run down, as to what this is all about. This project is about spreading Awesome around the world. We’ve decided that how else can we do this, other than taking a boat load of tees around the world each year and spreading them to everyone we possibly see and contact ourselves with. People on the airplane, restaurants, playgrounds, villages, families, schools, teams, you name it. Our goal is to visit 5 continents in 5 years and give out 200+ tees to a given country, state or province in each continent. Again, stay in the loop for more information on this project and how you can get involved!

Topic - Youtube-676854Youtube collaboration: I can’t give you too much on this until I sign the papers and send the information BUT let’s just say Be Awesome will (inshallah) be working with and up and coming YouTube start on a new Be Awesome Commercial!

 

 

-BeAwesome