If you don't like to read, this website isn't for you.
Information has always kept successful people apart from the stragglers and weak-willed. Informed people understand information is power. Informed people see a brick wall and see an opportunity to test the information they've learned until they can go over, around, or through the wall. But for an uninformed person, the journey stops at the wall. Maybe they go back and try another way while wasting precious time.
One of your innate life privileges is the freedom to choose your goals and successes in life. Of course, you're also free to make choices that lead to accomplishing those goals. But your responsibility, once you define "success," is to stay informed so that every inevitable wall becomes an opportunity to reach old goals while continuously making new ones until you know you've done enough for yourself. And the most important, worthwhile, life-changing, and genuinely motivational way to stay informed on your road(s) to success is reading. And that's what this site is.
If you want to overcome obstacles, you are responsible for learning and sharing information. You have an individual responsibility to yourself and a collective responsibility to the past, present, and future generations of your life experience. Everything you share is meant to support other people. And through learning from and sharing your experiences, you support other people who may not have the same privileges as you but face similar obstacles.
The Storyline of Information
Information started as word-of-mouth communication. Tribespeople shared stories about poisonous animals or fruits and educated each other on hunting, gathering, child-bearing, and crop-growing skills to keep their tribe alive for as long as they had control.
A hunter-gather shared a tale with his tribespeople on reaching freshwater or a herd of animals to hunt. The tribespeople used that information to consistently bring food and water back to keep their community, keeping their culture alive.
One day, while exploring the nearby woods, a parent watches their child eat a colored berry from a specific bush. And when the child has a near-death reaction, the parent returns to the village and warns the tribespeople about the bush. More children survived, and the next generation of the tribe lived on.
The information people needed to survive in the early days of humanity was minor. Food here. Water there. Don't eat this. Don't drink this. Wear this.
Eventually, books and images became modern ways of passing on information. And as societies grew and technology advanced, more information was needed to keep people alive, healthy, and invested in their community.
Eventually, and unfortunately, information became limited as people in power held onto the most important information and only shared what kept them in power. Information became (and still is) a tool to control and limit people's decision-making and freedom.
At some point, the radio was invented. The radio provides vocal information from a stranger, meant to invoke an emotional response through sound vibrations. At 8 p.m. on Sunday, October 30, 1938, The War of the Worlds aired on the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. On one end were the citizens receiving the information, believing an alien invasion was happening somewhere in the world. On another end were people in power taking in the information on how fear can control people's actions.
Most people consume information visually through television, movie, and phone screens. Most of the information (outside of ebooks) is limited and forces people to compress as much vital information as possible into a 2-hour film, 140 character tweet, or 12 episodes limited series. Most visual information is designed for entertainment. And the combination of visual and verbal information overtakes your sensory perception to offer an escape from a dull, traumatic, or meh life experience.
Reading Allows You To Control Information
Although information can be passed on from word of mouth, there's a limited amount of time someone can tell a story.
The life experiences that require and express change need deeply layered storylines to bring readers through waves of emotions and thoughts. Suppose you've been depressed, nihilistic, misanthropic, toxic, and victim-rooted for most of your life. In that case, the best way to learn from a transformation story that you can genuinely relate to is through literature. A movie would only highlight the key moments that visually and oratorially entertain and educate. But with so many other visual cues on the screen, you won't be fully immersed in the story, and you'll have limited potential to insert yourself into a character's shoes to start your transformation.
Life-shifting and perspective-changing information come from consistently reading. Have you ever seen Warren Buffet's top movies to watch this year? Me neither. Wealthy and successful people read because reading information allows them to stretch their perception, pause, reflect, challenge the ideas, and see what fits their own life dynamic.
A 100-page novel isn't read in on sitting. Instead, you read a few pages, live life, and return to the book, curious about what's next. Throughout the day, you create your version of what's going to happen, and when you start reading again, you're either right or wrong. But it doesn't matter because the experience of using your imagination to expand on the story and create visual cues was enjoyable.
There aren't any colors, faces, background noise, or excessive features to lose focus on when you read. It's you and an off-white page or screen and black text. Reading is black and (off)white for a reason. You're the grey interpreting the reading and seeing how the story relates and reshapes your life.
Reading places you in a space where only you and the characters matter. When I read Harry Potter, it isn't me and J.K. Rowling; it's me in the wizarding world. But once the audio version of Harry Potter came out, it was me and Jim Dale voicing the characters and taking away from my natural ability to use my imagination and be part of the story. The audio version created new emphasis and tones where I didn't place tone before. It limited how I saw the characters.
When the first Harry Potter movie premiered, I completely lost the connection in creating and being part of the wizarding world. Watching the film limited my imagination and ability to create voices and visuals of the characters that I enjoyed. Now, every time I imagine Harry Potter or reread the series, I see and hear Daniel Radcliffe.
Movies are the most disconnected you are from the source. They're usually full of adaptations and compromises that can only work with what's relatively available and in the allotted time of X hours and X minutes. I still see the broomsticks as fake when I watch the Harry Potter movies because I know it's Hollywood magic. But when I read about quidditch in the books, I can just barely visualize the brooms flying effortlessly.
Choose to Read
Reading gives you an endless imagination to explore and create possibilities for your life experience. Reading gives you ownership of your imagination and inspires you to start working toward the goals of unlocking your life's potential.
As a reader, you submit to the skills and knowledge of the author. You accept that they have extended experience in the subject they are writing about, and you read to gain insight into their mastery while adding to your life mastery.
I know what I know, and you know what you know. But I want to learn what you know because I don't have time to learn and because I respect and hope that you're mastering whatever it is you know so that I can keep learning from you. I'm not a master of anything except myself. But through mastering myself, I know I can master anything I dedicate time to learning. And if you're reading this, it means you want to learn what I know about self-healing, self-honoring, and living past the limitations you've placed on yourself.
In Opus 100, Isaac Asimov tells the story of meeting a German philosopher after discussing one of his stories. After the lecture, Asimov approached the philosopher to dispute some points.
After making his points, Asimov said, "After all, I happen to be the author of the story." The philosopher replied, "I'm pleased to meet you and admire your work but tell me — What makes you think, just because you wrote the story, that you know anything at all about it?"
There are no masters of life and information because information constantly evolves. Therefore, all you can do is become a master of your life.
Master of One
You become a master by sharpening your mental skills like a skilled samurai sharpening their swords to prepare for battle. But, unfortunately, a rusted or dull blade is useless, and just like a swordsman, you end up useless in the battle for your life if you aren't ready to engage in whatever obstacle (battle) life throws your way.
If you can’t be used, maybe you’re useless. -Fabolous
We're all here to use each other. But once you work on mastering your skills, you control how other people use you. Respecting yourself and what you offer allows you to respect what someone else offers. And communing and working together allows you both to improve or complement skills the other one is missing.
You can keep winning on your own by doing the same thing you've done a thousand times before. But eventually, the repetition loses its value because you're not being challenged or growing. Taking in new information from other people allows you to improve your skills and come back for a second wind to test your character and skills truly. (Think Lebron returning to Cleveland with a champion mindset to improve his other teammate's skills.)
I Need You and We Need You
We all have to learn from each other and support each other. And this is where I'm starting.
I need you. And I've only recently learned that I need you because I've realized and accepted what I'm here to do during my life experience.
My self-proclaimed mission in life is to be the bridge that turns pessimists into optimists who no longer see life as a limited experience. And if you're a pessimist, I want to guide and support you in finding what you self-define as your purpose in this life experience.
We're not here to do the same thing. Although some of our goals are the same, the 7 billion people on this planet will all have different approaches that bring peace and balance to this life experience if they commit to their goals. You need to define and accept your purpose in this literal once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. No matter what spirituality you subscribe to, there is no direct replay of the times and experiences during this life experience. You have to do your best and learn from the moments when you don't do your best.
You may think you're here for yourself. You might have the "fuck everyone" mindset. But don't you have family and friends you care about? Don't your actions and inactions impact how their life plays out? If you have or want children, don't you want to make choices that support a healthy future?
You have to be an active member of what goes on in society. Your parents and grandparents are the past, you're the present, and your children are the future. The timelines are endless, and the present generation is always responsible for all three. So if the present generation fails, all three fail. And as generations consecutively fail, winning against everything that's wrong with this collective life experience becomes more difficult. (HINT: You are always the present generation.)
Being born creates an innate social contract. If you participate in society, then you have to accept social contracts. And you have two social contracts to abide by: honoring yourself and supporting the collective experience.
You and I have different privileges, but we share the privilege of time as long as we're alive. You choose how you participate in social spaces and contribute to these spaces' growth with your time. And whether it's your town, city, country, building complex, after-school program, or weekend sports team, offer your best to these spaces to enrich the experience for everyone involved and the people who may want to be involved tomorrow.
Your present privilege allows you to support people who aren't privileged. As a Haitian-American, I've decided that I have a responsibility to enrich the lives of people in Haiti and the Black experience in the U.S. Those are two new additions to my social contract.
Being born in the U.S. gives me privileges Haitians don't innately have. People in Haiti look to Haitian-Americans and Haitians who have moved to the U.S. to change the Haitian experience. And my self-defined choice and responsibility are to use their history and ongoing plight to create art that will, directly and indirectly, redefine the Haitian experience. I'm going to use them, and they're going to use me.
So use other people under their terms, and they'll use you under your terms. But if you don't plan to honor your contract, or use your privilege to support other people, then you should go live in the woods isolated from society. Go be secluded from the rest of us who want to fulfill our social contracts instead of being parasites who only use people for selfish gain.
A Mother's Journey
My mother was born in Haiti. In the 70s, after spending time in Europe, she traveled to the United States. When she came to the U.S., she connected with other Haitian immigrants who went through and understood the immigration process and what options were available. She didn't have much, but she cooked them dinner as a bartering tool in return.
She came to the U.S. for a better life, and once she was well established, she brought her family into the states to change their life condition. Once they came, she passed the information she had learned to them.
Every interaction is bartering, and information is the essential bartering tool. Communities thrive through bartering information that preserves the past, enriches the present, and prepares for the future. Every choice simultaneously affects all three.
I feel the weight of Haitian slavery because I see what was gained and how freedom has cost Haiti to this day. I also feel the pride of fighting till death to free the collective experience. But if I don't actively participate in the present, then the trauma of history lingers because the experience won't change, today or tomorrow.
I'm here to work and commit to choices that influence the destiny of Haiti, the Black experience, and the overall global experience. It's not a god complex. I don't think I am THE person to do it. But I am capable, worthy, and responsible for being part of the solution. You are too. However, you decide to influence.
I write to everyone, but in my mind, I am zoning in on the Black experience and everything that I believe has limited my life as a Haitian-American. That hyphened "American" grants me privilege and responsibility.
Pause for a second.
- What's your hyphen?
- What's your culture?
- What are your groups?
- How are you privileged?
- What are you responsible for?
Once you answer these questions, ask yourself, how am I supporting the collective experience of the answers?
In everything you do, have a group you're supporting in mind. Then, keep them in mind for yourself and the collective present, past, and future.
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