TOUGHNESS

I recently gave a speech for our local National Guard unit. I was speaking on toughness, or as the Army calls it, resiliency. In my view… toughness is something that has to be developed. Merriam-Webster’s calls resiliency “the ability to rise above adversity”. How many of you consider yourselves to be tough, or resilient? How many of you honestly can look down at your life and say unecquivocally that you have that trait? In my eyes, we all have it, but in varying degrees. In my case, I had to grow into this. It was painful and took almost 35 years. This is something near and dear to me. I love seeing people “get over”. I am all about “putting people over”. Toughness is a whole hell of a lot more than using curse words, talking loud and being overbearing. Some of the toughest people I ever met were under 5 feet tall, under 100 pounds.

I am sure a lot of you are reminiscing by now, looking at your body, looking at the tattoos, the scars, memories. If you grew up in my era (late 1990s/early 2000s), you can attest to a shift in the overall consciousness of Americans.Seems to be a less confident, less resilient people now. More groupthink, less “rugged individualism”. More victimhood rather than a “can-do” spirit. I will leave you all with this: Do not be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to be hurt. Never fear anything.

Advertisements

Hate

I was recently in a short debate with a young man on facebook (which shows the level of the debate). He was going on and on about how he hates Christianity, Christianity is the problem that causes people to be weak and docile, etc. I basically just shut down due to laughter. I realize that this sort of thing prevails in young and old alike. In my case, I hated everything and everyone. I thought I was the baddest man on the planet at one time (late 90s- early 2000s). I hated the way I grew up, hated the way I was raised (to a degree), hated how I was treated by “my own kind”. Hearing this young man talk reminded me a LOT of myself. Vocalized (in this case keyboardized hatred) anger over anything except doing what is right and sticking up for others is not good for you. Back in my day, I had the idea that I wanted to kill everyone and everything. That I was on the right track “doing my own thing”. Reminds me also of the “Men’s Movement”. Some call it MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way). My only concern about this is the removal of God and the application of pure unadulterated hatred, rage and what I call “venomous living”. Surgically precise, Intensely vicious was the code I used to live by. I made a “big to-do” about everything in life. With age comes wisdom. With wisdom comes introspection. With introspection comes reality. I have found that life is something that makes cowards of people. Hate is a lot like a garment we wear to cover up hurts, scars and whatever else.

Hate is something that all of us experience at one time or another. From my experience with hate, it can be something that consumes you, it becomes a part of your life (if you let it) and takes over. Something like that is not healthy, not needed. It makes a case for just walking away from toxic situations and toxic people. Bottom line, it is essential that you have to take care of yourself above all else. Hate is symbiotic if you let it. People can use it for motivation to become great. Usually, hate debilitates. Hate destroys. Hate takes over your life. In summation, don’t let hate take over your life.

How Do You Know Your Worth?

Image

From the poster here, you should all know where I am going with this. People tend to play down to their common denominator. It shouldn’t be that way. The poster says “know your worth”. How do you do that? Simply saying “know your worth” makes about as much difference as telling a homeless man to “get a job” if he doesn’t now what to do, where to go. I remember this in my own life. Basically, men are not taught to value themselves in their own eyes. They are brainwashed into being subservient and DEPENDENT upon the ideals of the media and women. Men, it is time for ALL of us to “get out of the matrix” and realize the con job that has been run on us. Four generations of men raised by women has this nation reeling. It is easy to see. No real men, only a bunch of mannish-acting boys who act like women when angered. This is not the way it’s supposed to be.

But how do you know your worth? Simple. Look at where you are, your current circumstances. Then look at where/what you want to be. Set goals. Refuse to take any crap off anyone. Become the man you want to be, instead of cup-caking, soft-shoeing around people just to curry favor with them. That is how you determine your worth. Looking to anybody else other than yourself and God is foolish at best.

SNIPPET: IMMINENT REAPING

Here is a snippet of my book “Imminent Reaping”. I have been at work on this (off and on) for about two years now. Enjoy!

“SILENCE YOU FOOL!!! I AM NOT HERE TO BE PRAISED!!! I AM HERE TO OFFER YOU A JOB”, says satan. “You have all the qualifications that I want and need for our team. You are now Adramalech”. Unbeknownst to Jimmy, six demons walked in and were standing behind him, one with a drawn sword. In one fell swoop, Jimmy’s throat was cut, blood rushing out of his neck like a river. The demons jumped on him, eating his flesh. Satan reaches into Jimmy’s carcass then screams. At that moment, what was Jimmy arose. Adramalech was born. Adramalech roared. Loudly. The foundations of the building shook and patrons cheered as he cut the head off a stripper and ate her body. “We will destroy those fools from Heaven tonight”, says Adramalech. “I am the weaver of nightmares. I am the ripper of flesh, I have destroyed many men over the years… from Sarmatians, to Romans, to Americans, Russians and Saudis… I am the ultimate killing machine!!” The crowd roars in approval. In the outskirts of Hell City, just past Sheol, the place once known as Abraham’s Bosom, is the place called The Outer Darkness. No light, no nothing except fear, dread, darkness and death. The Night Raiders, demons who torment souls, would ride by on mounted patrols. Urias, his Hosts of Heaven, and The King touch down. The King calls them to order. The Hosts of Heaven, 240,000 in number, are divided into divisions. With the 240 divisions, there are various chains of command. But Urias is the head of them all, answering only to The King, who is the Commander-in-Chief. After settling down and camping for the time being, all the leaders of the divisions met with Urias and The King to discuss strategies. Urias will lead a small detachment into Hell City, about 20 soldiers will go in. There will be subsequent waves of soldiers coming into Hell City after they breach it. Everyone was on their “A game” for they knew what this was, and what it meant. The first real strike into Hell since Christ died on the cross in 30 AD. Urias and his detachment leave the FOB (forward operating base). Before they left, The King gave Urias a message: “Remember I told you that you I would be with you in spirit, but didn’t tell you what that meant? I will ascend into Heaven, but I will leave you a share of My Power. All you have to do is say My Name. Just say the name of Jesus and you will have My Power, which is limitless. Remember that as you head into that wretched city”. The detachment heads out and almost immediately they encounter the Night Raiders and other demonic fighters. They surround the detachment from all sides, and try to attack. Urias, waiting to strike, lunges forwards with a blistering attack of kicks, punches and sword attacks. Demons falling like rain, just dropping like flies. Angelus, was ripping demons in two with his bare hands, smiling as he did it. Urias ducked one punch, did a spin-kick which took down two other demons. He then proceeded to slice them open with a sword thrust. The battle went on for hours, until the last demon was dead. Sadly, half the detachment also dies as well. Finally, the detachment reaches Hell City. The stench of the streets overwhelmed them, as a few of them were puking. The sight of the rape rooms, the sacrifices and the overall evil was horrifying. Hell City is a combination of Toronto, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Moscow and Riyadh. At the first step onto a street, the inhabitants knew something wasn’t right. Several thugs went after the detachment and were executed quickly. After a few moments, came another wave of demons- only these demons were sent by Abigar himself. The demons make their way down slowly, as to stalk them. Angelus steps up with a haymaker, striking three of them with one blow. Various other demonic creatures join the fight. Urias is fighting five, sometimes six of them at once. He gets his lip busted open, he laughs as he spits in their faces. More demons rise up, and just as quickly, they are struck down. One after the other they came, reminiscient of the hordes of antiquity. And one by one, they fell. Angelus, Samael, and the remaining warriors of the detachment fight with swords and their bare hands. Angelus and Samael (whose name means “Venom of God”) joined hands and ran, clotheslining several demons as if it were a professional wrestling match. Urias, meanwhile, was using his swordsmanship skills while carving up a huge demon reminiscent of the demon duke sitri. Then from behind, came a demon riding a lizard-like creature that stands at least 40 feet high and is about 25 feet wide. The creature stormed towards Urias and the soldier Reuel. The creature and its rider Sallos, a duke, lunged towards Urias, but missed. At that very second, Reuel jumps on the lizard and starts hacking at the tail. The tail falls off, and another one grows on instantly. Reuel ducks an arrow by the archers, but is struck in the temple by Sallos’ sword, leaving a gash 3 inches wide. Reuel laughs as he falls, but not without plunging his sword into the giant lizard, as he descended down the lizard’s side. As Reuel hits the ground, he is trampled by the angry beast. Sallos looks around only to see Urias screaming as he approaches him. Urias comes down hard with a strike that cracks Sallos’ helmet and severs his head. Urias laughs as Sallos’ head peels like a banana. Urias then proceeds to take the reigns of the beast and plunges his sword into the back of its neck and leaps down, pulling the sword with him. The beast roars in agony and blood hemorraghes. The blood is a dark green, sulphur-based hemoglobin. Urias reaches the ground finally, rolls out the way of the lizard as it stumbles then collapses. It roars two more times, then dies.  Wave after wave of demons come and go. Urias looks around and sees only 5 of his detail with him: Angelus, Melek, Yophiel, Gabriel (an archangel) and Ariel, the chief of the exiled. The six of them look around and see 1200 seething demons of varying sizes staring at them. The fallen angels all rush the six heavenly warriors from all sides. The six angels stand back-to-back, as they protect each other from all sides. One devil’s head is sliced off, then cut in half. Another devil’s head is crushed. Hours pass, as the demons are obliterated one after the other. With the numbers dwindling, the remaining demons all charge at once, all 150 of them. The fighting continues until the number of the demons are down to the last three. Urias looks around, sees Angelus and his huge blazing sword. Urias runs over to Angelus and grabs the sword. At that moment, a bat-looking demon swoops down on Urias, claws and teeth bared. Urias ducks right and grabs it by the throat. Urias then takes Angelus’ broadsword and shoves it in the devil’s mouth, coming out the back of its head. As the demon shakes, bleeds and finally dies, Angelus is smiling WIDE, laughing. The last cry of the demon echoes in the darkness. The echo fades back into the eerie silence. 

Toughness: Is It In You?

Toughness is a word bandied about a lot. But what is it? As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, toughness is  being able to withstand great strain without tearing or breaking (which is also the definition of my first name Kente’); strong and resilient. Toughness is also defined as being aggressive; pugnacious. Seems to me that toughness these days is nothing more than comparing resumes, overtalking someone else, name-calling and throwing around big, politically-correct words, followed by a fistfight. That is not toughness. Toughness, at least my definition of it, is simply an attitude of resilience. Not giving up on anything or anyone. Nowadays, it looks like everything and everyone is disposable like a paper cup or plastic silverware. We have recreational dating, we have all kinds of things that are strictly for fun. We literally have entire industries based on the flippancy of people. It is 2014, and look at how weak everyone has become. In our “progressive” world, we have modern families, we have everything that is top-shelf. Toughness is not promoted. Why? Toughness is sorely needed. Comedian Chris Rock recently stated that “kids need bullying”. Why on earth would he say that? In my estimation, he was referring to the toughness created by dealing with people who hate you and decide to mistreat you. Life is not fair. The attempts by the popular culture and the political class to “level the playing field” is ludicrous at best. Life is tough. It does not stop. Time doesn’t stop going. So I ask you all who are reading- is toughness part of you? How many of you have beat a drug problem? Or stopped drinking? This past week made three years for me being sober. I do not miss drinking. At first, I would fight the temptation not to drink. As time went on, it went away.

Toughness is an attitude. And attitude is everything. By toughness, I don’t mean living like an outlaw, destroying everything in your path. Take me for instance. I am an Army vet. I stand 5-11, weigh 238 lbs. I am a guy who likes to fight, military history, etc. Some of the toughest people I have seen were women who didn’t raise their voices or their hands to anyone. I sat and listened to their life experiences, their wisdom. They talked to me in a very soft voice. Old ladies. Tougher than a “two-dollar steak”, as the old saying goes. I am a big believer in what is called “self-talk”. Self-talk is what you say to yourself. Lots of people think that talking to yourself is some sign of inherent mental illness. That perception couldn’t be further from the truth. People tend to believe what the world says about them more than what they believe about themselves. It is a sad sight to see, a person who is a doormat. People who believe lies about themselves. As you all know, I am not a man who is afraid or ashamed to talk about himself. I battled fear, doubt, insecurity, depression, anger and angst for years. A lot of my “issues” came from my self-talk. The more you dwell on the negatives in your life, the weaker you become. Mentally weakened people are not tough. You see it in sports, like in a football game. One team may be stronger, more athletic, more well-like by people in general. The other team may be despised and a “gaggle of hooligans”. The less talented team wins with ease. Why? Mental toughness. One team will bring confidence, swagger and the will to win that crushes the other team. Such how it is in life. People must understand that no amount of knowledge, no adherence or compliance with the popular opinion on “social issues” will help you win in life. The issue of toughness is all about being able to endure hardship, as life is all about loss, pain and being able to withstand it without being destroyed by it.

In closing, I am living proof that life doesn’t have to be a series of losses, or whatever you are fearing. People fear conflict so much they will concede to anything that guarantees ease, peace, tranquility. It is imperative to develop toughness. But how do you develop toughness? In my succinct opinionation of it all, it is to realize that nobody owes you anything. Nobody is responsible for you eating, nobody has to help you. It is all about taking personal responsibility for your life. Using self-control, discipline and never giving up on your hopes, dreams and goals is essential to developing toughness, mental toughness I should say. Physical toughness and strength is also something that has to be developed through calisthenics (push-ups, sit-ups, running), weight-training, stuff like that. I would rather have a weak body than a weak mind. In summation, toughness is something that is developed. No one can do it for you (most folks will assist you in your demise). It is all about your level of pride in yourself, the level of determination to achieve and succeed in life. Never allow life to crush you. Life in my eyes is nothing more than a long, drawn out war. Conquer life or it will conquer you.

Obsession

Webster’s Dictionary says that an obsession is a persistent preoccupation, idea, or feeling. Obsessions can be in a good way, or a bad way. A good obsession is your expression of faith towards your deity of choice, following the doctrines of your religion to a T. A bad obsession is wanting someone’s spouse, and allowing that to dominate your life. In the case of this post, an obsession can and will be used for bettering yourself, versus the opposite, which is wasting your life and destroying your life. So let’s begin. I can honestly say that I am obsessed with physical fitness, obsessed with dominance in all areas of life. I remember when I was younger, I went vegetarian for almost two years. I went from 290 pounds to 160 in 13 months. At times, I had to make myself eat. I became obsessed with physical fitness and making myself better. Unfortunately, at that time, I had an obsession with having people like me (experience has shown me that that is a waste of time), and it killed my motivation. To quote Chappelle, “haters gonna hate”. I learned the hard way that people are a snare to your success. I personally challenge anyone who is unsure of their standing in this world to go be about something- you will instantly start collecting haters (haters are like a combination of remoras on a shark and that white stuff that collect on the corners of your mouth when you’re REALLY thirsty). I simply am aghast when I reminisce on how people act when it concerns approval from others. It is sickening to me- partly because I have come from the background where I was like so many others- a slave to approval, wishing to have everyone’s adoration. THE WORLD DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY. To be obsessed with making yourself better is something that should be prized, something that other people should aspire to, and to admire. Often enough, we sit on the sidelines of life, watching life pass us by as it were another Monday Night Football matchup.

In my humble opinion, there are so many things that need our attention. Bettering yourself. Overcoming obstacles. Doing what’s right BECAUSE IT’S RIGHT, DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY- ESPECIALLY WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING. That is integrity. That is courage. That is stuff that will never be sold on MTV, or on the internet. The closest thing you’ll get is some comedian making fun of something and all the lemmings laugh, thinking it’s humorous somehow. In closing, I would like to say to all them who are “on the fence” about their lives- just go do it already. You don’t know what is waiting for you on the other side of your doubt. You don;t know what’s waiting for you on the other side of your pain. Dreaming of a better life is one thing. Just don’t let it stay a dream. It’s not a crime to be obsessed about something that is good. It’s not a crime to want to work at something you want more than life itself. Never ever complain about your life that you refuse to change and make better. Other people usually don’t care about what you are going through, or your problems. Most of the time, they are going through some kind of pain themselves. In summation, it all goes back to “your life, your choice”.

DEALING WITH HATE

ImageThe other day, I was reminiscing on my life (seems like I’m always thinking huh), and one theme I am on a lot is hate. I remember the words, the sneers, the judgment passed on me. I think of this a lot as a mean of motivation. I am basically sold out to being ruthless in achieving my goals for life. So many people are underachievers, or they don’t understand what it takes to make something for yourself in life. It is imperative that people “get out of the matrix” when it comes to having things in life. So many people are all on the “my four and no more” philosophy of life, basically looking out for number one.

Hate is a theme of life I am intimate with. Growing up the way I did, I am on a face-to-face level with hatred, violence and pain. Hate is something that is now mainstream in the media when you don’t like something that is popular (i.e. Deena Jacobs to Kim Kardashian). Hate was something that was fed to me, being a youth in the ‘hood. All I knew was hate. People hated me cause I had buckteeth, cause I didn’t have a dad, or for some reason. People hated me because I was alive and breathing. This is something people have to understand. They hate you. And? Am I supposed to break down every time some fool passe judgment on me that I know isn’t true? I couldn’t care less about what anybody thinks of me, other than God and myself. More people need to have the POV I have (not saying it because I said so, but because it’s the stone-cold truth) if they want to succeed. This thing we call life is not for the timid. The winners in life win because they forsake all fears, even forsaking “common sense” to get what they want out of life. Too many times, we now have people who are willing to settle. Bad relationships, bad everything, no job, stuck on welfare, got kids with no father, no support. Then the hatred comes.

Hatred is something people do to distract themselves from the sad-sack reality that they have created. People usually hate things they don;t understand, things they can’t do- other times, they hate what they cannot control. It is simple in my eyes. The confusion comes when people who don’t have the mental acuity, the mental disposition you may have, start in on you. What to do?

1. REALIZE AND ACCEPT that people do not have to like you, love you, or even acknowledge your existence. You must make the determination that you will be happy no matter what people say or do to you.

2. People will be people. What they cannot understand, control, profit off of, they will hate, despise and try to ruin.

3. YOU MUST NEVER EVER GIVE UP BECAUSE OF THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS. I know it’s tough. You must develop your talents, and develop a thick skin.

4. LEARN TO REVEL IN THE HATE. I have taken to a new mentality concerning this. I often say NEW HATERS WANTED- the old ones are starting to love me!! This a mental deal that will take years to overcome. The fear of people is a snare, as said in the Bible.

5. As you are developing your talents and skills, and your mental frame, never forget that you are accountable to yourself, family, the people that depend on you, and to God.

6. Morgan Freeman said it best in “The Shawshank Redemption”: GET BUSY LIVING OR GET BUSY DYING.

Image

Loser Mentality

fearisaliarOne thing I have been seeing a LOT of lately is people with what I call a loser mentality. It is something I cannot stand ONE BIT. People have gone brain-dead. Folks are so soft now. Every now and then, I take a walk on the streets. I see a lot- like fashion, attitudes, stuff like that. I wish people would toughen up. Now what I mean by a loser mentality, is the attitude of “small thinking”. It soon morphs into a lifestyle. It is based on the fear of loss. The fear of loss is something most people have. I used to have that kind of thing rule me. One day, after losing everything, I made up my mind to never ever live that way. Once I woke up to just how my life was controlled by fear (thanks be to the God in Heaven), I was repulsed. I was scouring my life, looking at everything. When I say everything, I mean everything. Every experience, I scrutinized (I am my toughest critic) EVERYTHING. I ended up making a list of personality traits that I wanted, and still remember going to the dictionary, looking up words that I liked- like dominate. I ended up coming up with a laundry list of words. Then the words I meditated on religiously.

After looking up the words, I started implementing words, quotes, even imitating a few people I admired (in my life, and from television to a degree). If you follow my blog, you know I am not ashamed to talk about myself. This subject/topic has always been one “near and dear” to my heart. I hate seeing people fall to fear. I hate seeing people not be able to break through to realize their dreams and goals.

In closing, I will say this: for those of you who are “religious”, you can pray to whoever your diety is and gain strength from your higher power, still drawing from your experiences and conquering your fears. For those of you who claim no religion, you’re gonna have to dig deep and get it in that way. In any case, your life is “all on you”. There is no way around this fact of life: there is, was and always will be conflict, change, things of that nature. That much is clear. Cowering, hiding behind fear, your past, whatever- is not going to help you accomplish anything.