“There are people lives who are tied to your dreams.”—Tyler Perry
When I was younger, I never really focused on what others thought or said about me. I faced several challenges, pain, and fears earlier than most my age. It became a blessing and a curse. You can be blessed and still be confused. I was confused and lost as a teenager. Maturity was something I had because of the woman around me made sure of it. I grew up faster than I wanted to. Life circumstances made me grow up faster , my childhood was skipped and I couldn’t enjoy it as many of my peers could.
In year 2019, I believe many young people are faced with the same unfortunate circumstances and difficult decisions without being taught on how to choose, how to handle it, or what to expect. In urban communities, they are faced with dangers and choices my generation or people over 30 years of age never had to face. I’m not making excuses, rather giving a fact. Social media, friends and family members being killed at a younger age, and an increase of fatherless homes, with an increase of single mothers working multiple jobs to make ends meet. I call it “A never ending story in the Hood.” The human brain or the way it process information did not change, but how they value “love, respect, integrity, loyalty, and friendships” did. Instant access and a fast pace world made it almost impossible to value time, intimate conversations, and face to face contact or communication. With the lack of human connection, and face to face conversations, it de-valued a humans natural response and conflicted with our brains ability to love and seek attention.
According to Erikson and his eight stages of development, stage 5 happens in adolescent ages (Stage 5: Adolescence: Identity vs. Role Confusion) Stage 6 happens in young adulthood. (Stage 6: Young Adulthood: Intimacy vs. Isolation).
These two stages are impacted by social attention, interaction, and what others think and value you as (and what you believe others see you as). Using the social and cognitive learning theories, social media plays a major role in how we value and see ourselves in the eyes of others. With a click of a button your life or how others perceive you can change; for better or for worse. The crazy part is, it may or may not be true. We are in a age of time where everything you say, do, or post, can get leaked, posted, and shared within seconds that can change how people view you.
Now step aside from the learning theories you may hear people say, “who cares what people say or think about you. Be yourself, live for yourself. Stop worrying about that. That stuff don’t matter.”
Well, it does matter to most individuals. It’s easier said than done. We as human want to be accepted and loved. Therefore, we intentionally do things to be seen and heard.
Tyler Perry said “rather than be an Icon, I wanted to be an Inspiration.” I live my life for a purpose. I am self-motivated and no one will stop me from accomplishing or reaching my goals. This is a high- level thinking and something that was installed in me from a young age. I had strong individuals that taught me life skills and made me work to earn everything. Everyone does not have those individuals in their lives. Some never had to work or work as hard so they wouldn’t understand. Everyone story and life is different, that is what makes us unique and independent.
So many people are distracted by the chatter around them that they cannot focus on the goal or purpose before them. I advise you, don’t let the chatter stop you. The enemy will always send a terrorist alert when you are close to your destiny. The enemy can come in any form (friend, Coach, teacher, parent, doctor, police man, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent, brother, sister, niece, nephew, girlfriend, boyfriend, or anyone you VALUE). One of the most challenging and hardest part of growing and involving was letting people go. Outgrowing the people you once VALUED. We began speaking different languages in terms of life, goals, purpose, and vision. You have to start listening with your heart and mind, rather than your ears.
So I ask you:
What do you VALUE? What are your goals? Where do your passion and purpose lie? Who opinions and life do you value? How do you want to be remembered when you die?
The answers may vary. Align your answers with others who have similar or the same VALUES, goals, ambitions, and purpose.