Category Archives: Life Skills

The Life Skills category establishes an understanding about the “sandbox of life”. Everyone is in the box, young men of color have to understand how to conduct themselves in it.

A passage from “The 12 Universal Laws of Success”

There are four types of people in the world.

  1. The Players
  2. The Watchers
  3. The Wonderers
  4. The Wanderers

If life were a game of baseball, the Players would be the people or teams on the field. These are the ones that have sacrificed and practiced until they are the best that they can be. They generally do what they love and love what they do. They reap the rewards of their efforts. The players use their powers to make things happen. they reach within to that well of power that they have developed to get the desired results. The Players take the risks and get the rewards.

Need a grand slam – Got a grand slam.

The Watchers are the spectators sitting in the stands watching others play the game of life. Watching somebody else get the money, the recognition, and the girl. Everyone who is not on the playing field is a spectator.

True Watchers are the people who never really try hard at anything. They may dream of being a Player, but at the first signs of difficulty, challenge, or disappointment, they discard their dreams and scurry off the playing field of life, silently vowing never to try that again. These wannabe Players take their seat in the stands with carefully crafted excuses and explanations for not being in the game. Watchers are generally people who had a dream, but let it be compromised. Watchers often say, “I should have done this, or I could have been that, but I’ve had a good live.”

The Wonderers are the people in the parking lot outside the stadium where the game of life is being played. They hear the sounds of the players and the spectators, but they are not a part of the game. They know something is going on, but they must wonder what it is, since they can’t see. Wonderers learn about what’s going on secondhand. They live their lives responding  to outside stimuli, and developing other peoples’ programs. they often see the world in terms of would have, could have, and should have.

The Wanderers are the people who are lost on the dirt road to the freeway, to the parking lot, outside the game of life. they have no idea of what is going on, and no plans to find out. The Wanderers are like thistles in the wind. They blow from pillar to post, without goals, plans, or roots. Ruled by their addictions and their appetites, they live for the moment and nothing more.

Book: The 12 Universal Laws of Success, Second Edition Expanded

Author: Herbert Harris

I like this passage not for the roles, we’ve all heard them before, but for the rationale that define each role.

Which one are you, which one do you want to be?

MPM

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2018 Annual New Years Resolution: Living free

Every year we all commit to resolutions to make our lives better, eliminate bad habits, to be successful, etc. Every year we either fail or succeed and every year, without fail, we make the attempt.

My previous New Years blogs…

https://middlepassagementor.com/2017/01/02/new-years-resolution-step-out-of-my-self-and-be-better/

https://middlepassagementor.com/2015/01/08/my-only-annual-blog-new-years-resolutions/

https://middlepassagementor.com/2014/01/14/new-years-resolution-self-improvement/

…have always been about incrementally getting better.

For me this year is different, the same in nature, but different. I’ve been thinking this way ever since I completed one of my last resolutions…something about paying off credit cards. I paid off about 5 of my 7 credit cards and I feel freedom for the first time in a long while. I mean I could maintain the debt but now that it’s gone, I feel free….yes 5…don’t judge.

Resolution: The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts.

So before you accumulate a mountain debt, enjoy your freedom, protect it, live free. It starts with changing your priorities and how you live your life. Yes we have to spend money to live, college books, tires for your car, suit for interviews, laptop, etc. There are necessities, there are, but PLEASE don’t get caught up with buying “things” that don’t give your life value. A weekend trip to the Caribbean costs more than a set of rims but at least you’re living, you’re just not in the hood looking good but “ain’t never been nowhere“.

 Living free takes discipline not to buy things that have no value. 

The blog about about slavery and money I wrote a couple weeks ago, yeah I’m still feeling that. I don’t know exactly what it is but it starts with just basic decisions to be free. That need to be free has shaped my spending and allowed me to value my decisions. Decisions about my habits, what I eat, what I watch, what I respond to, my energy, my stress….everything.

I’m getting preachy but I just want you young males have the freedom to engage the world, to live free.

Happy New Year!

MPM
Email: middlepassagementor@gmail.com
or comment below.
“Money buys you the freedom to live your life the way you want.”
Keanu Reeves

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Buying your slavery.

We all like nice things, everyone likes nice things but what does it cost?

No…I don’t mean cost as in the price, I mean the cost of keeping it; the maintenance, interest payments, stress, freedom…yes, freedom.

For example, let’s say after your rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, food, gas, and entertainment expenses per month you have $1000.00 left. That’s kinda high but whatever.

You have roughly 12,000.00(12k) a year in fun money, that’s assuming you save 10% have retirement and are doing all the things we’re supposed to do. You can go out on a few dates, go to Martha’s Vineyard, travel to Africa, a couple of black ski events, etc. Then you see it, that Z07 Corvette, for a easy $350.00 a month. Why not?!…you have the money and good credit for no down payment. Bang, it’s yours…it’s fun to drive, you increase your gas costs for 93 octane premium gas but you can swing it. Insurance goes up and depending on how you drive, those ultra performance tires at $400.00…EACH are nothing to forget. Yes $400.00 look it up, http://www.tirerack.com.  Yeah you buy tires once over 2 years but it still a expense. So $350.00 car payment, increased gas and insurance cost, before you know it, your fun money has dwindled to about $550.00 a month. Yes, you can still pick up some airline tickets, and hang out but with a little less money, no problem. Then you see it…the Rolex watch, better yet the Breitling watch. How much? $4k, that’s $4,000.00 for something you DON’T need, you want it but you don’t need it. Yes, it’s a nice performance luxury watch but your cell phone can tell the damn time?! Next thing you know, it’s on your wrist with what…No Money Down, for 18 months then it’s 24% interest if you don’t pay it off.

INTERESTn. money paid regularly at a particular rate for the use of money lent, or for delaying the repayment of a debt

So your payment is $222.00 a month, that’s not to bad but just think, we started with $1000.00 a month spending money

– $350.00 Corvette payment

– $222.00 Breitling watch

= $428.00 a month

$400.00 is still not bad but that’s just two purchases for things you DON’T need. You want a $4000.00 watch and your furniture isn’t even paid for yet. You can’t even take your mom on a cruise, take time off from work, you got bills to pay! Now you’re starting the cycle of debt, you can’t even drive the Vette cause you gotta eat and make a living….there’s no traveling, no playing, get your a$$ to work SLAVE!

And that’s my point, be discipline enough to NOT buy things you don’t need. It can wait, your freedom is more important.

No…I’m not saying don’t buy nice things. Just think, if you wait one year, you could have at lease 10k in the bank. With 10k in the bank your stress level is different, you travel more, you can buy the watch straight out and get a decent car until you can afford the Vette. If something goes wrong at work, hours get cut, laid off, you have a few months to fall back…this is what you call saving money for a “rainy day”.

Most of us can buy anything we want, but we can’t afford the lifestyle that comes with it.

I forgot the reason why I wrote this blog…

I saw a Range Rover, I love Range Rovers, I purchased one a couple years ago. My friend Terry told me not to buy it…I didn’t listen…warned me about that maintenance…I didn’t listen…told me it was a piece of s#!&…I didn’t listen. I bought it for about 10k, it was used and old but I loved it…classic. I spent about 7k on repairs in that year. It is a horrible car…loved the ride, nothing like it but that air suspension cost money to repair. It was a 20k lesson in about 15 months. I should have listened. This was all before God blessed me with rain on my commute and someone rear-ended me and totaled it…wooo hooo! Got a pickup truck and left it at that. So take it from me.

Homework: Look up the terms; depreciation, interest rate, credit score, net worth

MPM

“Money buys many things…the Best of which is Freedom” Mary Renault

“The only thing money is good for is to buy your Freedom” Humphrey Bogart

“Money equals Freedom” Kevin O’Leary (Shark Tank: Shark)

“I have a fantastic relationship with money, I use it to buy my freedom”

Gianni Versace

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Go off the grid, disconnect, get a little lost to find yourself.

I’m in the Bahamas.

Wait, I’m skipping ahead.

Last year I was told that there was a “Liveaboard” trip…meaning you go on a yacht, (mine is the Aqua Cat), for a while you live, eat, play and most importantly… DIVE. So, last year I committed to do this for my birthweek. During the trip I would not really have access to wifi and the internet so I also decided to disconnect and go off the grid for this trip. I booked an AirBnB off Collins Ave in Nassau for two days before the trip. I flew down yesterday and had a layover in Miami for about 7 hours.

During that time checking in my flight, I found out that my cousin Kim just moved down there from Norristown, PA, one day ago. She just planned and moved. I am so proud of her. I asked her, “How you going to just roll out?!” She said, “I have to make a change and this is it. I have to do what’s best for me and my son.” She starts her job on Tuesday.  I was like, “Kim…do it” Yesterday she picked me up from the airport and went to get a cheap breakfast and talk. I always felt Kim was a positive person and I felt she was bigger than her shell. To find out she had just moved to Miami 2 days prior, I had to make sure she was cool. She is and will be amazing…if she focuses!!!  (That’s to her..sorry.) Well I landed in Bahamas and “Evie” picked me up with the lighted sign out of baggage claim with my name on it, “Welcome Robert S.” WHAT?!?!  I ALWAYS WANTED THAT!  It’s the little things. Anyway, I planned to go to see the movie, “Alien Covenant” with her and her boyfriend but I found my “Second Wife” Janis and hung with her and her sister Jennifer for my special day. I’m not married but a story behind that. I’ll get pictures later.

I feel handicapped, I can’t Uber, Google, WhatsApp, Facebook, Amazon…nothing. How am I blogging?!? Well for $1.00 a minute at Bahamas Business Solutions on Collins, I logged in with the help of Yolanda, “no relations to Adams” she said. I wanted to reach out, my apologies for the grammatical errors but it’s $1.00 a minute and I’m rushing. LOL.

I think it’s important to travel, I’ve always say that. I think it’s good for people to push their boundaries. Being without my phone has been hard, but to go out and meet people is nothing new. For some of you, this may be a huge challenge. To disconnect and actually ask for directions, find places to eat, being polite or nice to a stranger for no gain…just be nice. It’s humbling, maybe allows you to focus on more important things.

With the aid of technology, being independent is something we find easy, but to actually talk to people, engage and initiate conversations is a lost art, to begin new friendships and relationships is a necessity of life. There’s some things you may find pleasing; making a stranger laugh, accompanying new friends to a movie, being welcomed into someone’s home for a few days. I don’t know maybe that’s just me but I know if feels better to engage people than to stare at a four inch screen in the palm of my hand. The interpersonal skills transfer in the workplace and other relationships. Gives you something to talk about, maybe makes you a little more interesting…maybe makes other people or places more interesting.

It’s crazy but this is what pushing your boundaries is about. I always thing of that quote, “Leaders put themselves situations, followers won’t.”

Anyway, let me go, I get on this boat tomorrow and I have to arrange transfer.

A few helpful hints when exploring:

  • When heading somewhere new, pay attention to landmarks to recognize your way back.
  • It’s important to learn to identify when someone is inquiring to help you or take advantage of you.
  • If you’re staying in a AirBnB, be open to help of fix things around the house.
  • Bring a gift from the “states” for people you may visit.

MPM

middlepassagementor@gmail.com

 

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