"We want everything now, and we want it yesterday." My college advisor said this during a Dental Public Health course. Although she related it to consumerism, it always stuck with me, and I think of that line whenever I envision my success. Success rests on my personal growth. Am I better than I was yesterday? Did I learn something new today? Did I set things in motion for a better tomorrow? I ask myself these questions daily.
Maturity is the awareness of your growing needs and demands. Your attention is pulled in numerous directions, and your responsibility is to ensure everything is taken care of. Your tablet, phone, and now possibly glasses and watches control your life and are extensions of your body; there's nothing wrong with that. But how much control do you let go?
You're always watching something, letting the external slowly weave its way into your life and distract you. Work emails, appointments, social media, phone calls, text messaging, reviews, games, and ebooks—we are ever-presently on screens. Notifications from emails, texts, calls, reminders, news, pictures, memories, schedules, and flight deals trigger you into a response. Each distraction dictates where you go, what you do, and what you wear, trickling into who you become.
The World Is Yours
Omniscience is yours if you have time.. All it takes is a tap of your index finger on a screen. You can learn about anything from anywhere on this Earth as long as you're connected to the internet. With the ability to have extensive knowledge comes the ability to have unlimited power. Knowledge is power. And with power at your fingertips, why not create a better version of yourself? Why not achieve your dreams, create, grow, teach, and connect to become powerful in whatever sense of power you desire?
A new wave of technology coined "positive technology" started picking up speed in 2015 to power and control over personal growth. Whether it's positive reinforcement through stories and quotes, quizzes to train your brain, or inspiration that wakes you up from the lull and frustrations of everyday life, positive technology support a better version of you.
In essence, most technology is positive. Pacemakers, streetlights, airplanes, and even air conditioners in South Florida's yearlong summer improve your quality of life. I was connected with friends and family in Brooklyn, Virginia, Argentina, and Tokyo when I lived in South Beach. And thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope, I can see the Universe in high-quality photos.
You can share a funny video with coworkers and even let your ex know how happy you are without them with endless photo updates on Instagram. But there's so much more we can and should be doing for ourselves.
PropelU: Small Bites
In 2015, I worked with PropelU, an app produced by Mind Stimuli Labs Co., a tech start-up in the heart of South Beach. Brothers and co-founders Patrick Corbett and Rick Corbett Jr. had a clear mission: "Delivering relevant content to the subscriber in small bites throughout the day so it can be consumed anywhere, anytime, to work with today's on-the-go digital lifestyle." Relevant personal development content. For PropelU, personal development was "The conscious choice to improve one's life to become a better person and to grow as an individual." That's control.
PropelU's "5 reasons you should use our product" is a standard for what growth experiences should include:
- Skill development to enhance your capabilities
- Motivation to keep you on track in case you feel discouraged
- Achievements to see the results of your work but also the ability to quantify your progress
- Community to help us learn and grow together, therefore allowing us all to succeed
- Simplicity to ensure functionality at any given moment while also ensuring everything you receive is relative to your goals.
For Patrick, CEO of Mind Stimuli Labs Co, PropelU was a project in the making since his high school years. President of the Junior Achievement Club, Patrick got into personal development at 17. "I learned early on that you can't always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it. I always worked hard, made a lot of good decisions, and made a lot of bad ones too. But I always used them as a lesson."
Rick, President of Mind Stimuli Labs Co., spent over 25 years in personal development and business ownership. Combining his passion for ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and his ability to create success for any brand, Rick envisioned PropelU being the catalyst to "help people live a life where anything is possible."
Recruiting Ingrid Serrano advanced PropelU's mission. As Chief Technology Officer, Ingrid's role was to guarantee that the system, content, and user experience were flawless. Ingrid spent 16 years in IT, then became the CIO for the largest multinational horticulture company in the world. No longer desiring to work for a creator, Ingrid chose entrepreneurship to become a creator.
Nothing New Under The Sun
Unfortunately, like many start-ups, PropelU wasn't successful at launching. Although Mind Stimuli Labs Co. is no longer active, the experience stayed with me and the positive technology era lives on.
Seven years later, I launched my first positive technology app: Black Excellence Daily. Propelled by the success of the Black Excellence Calendar + Journal Bundle, the Black Excellence Daily App is positive technology personified for the Black experience. Here are some key components:
- 365 Global Black Figures
- Each honored on their date of birth or death
- Daily quotes from each figure
- An additional personal perspective to connect the quote to the user
- A growing list of Black history facts
- Two daily journal prompts for self-reflection
- Daily Black News Updates in Tech, Art, Design, Agriculture, Literature, and more
- Only positive content for a positive mind
If You Don't Use It Correctly, You'll Lose It
Technology, like life, is defined not by its purpose but by how you use it. As I mature, I use social media solely for my passions and less for entertainment. Entertainment is everywhere and anywhere. I'm only here now, and with my limited control and time, I want to share stories, connect, and inspire. I started my personal development journey with fitness in the 7th grade. Two decades later, I'm hoping to inspire the next 7th grader.
Learn more and download the Black Excellence Daily app for Android or iOS at BlackExcellenceDaily.