Crack Open Your True Potential

I recently read a novel by a man named Simon Sinek called Start With Why. Sinek, who I most famously knew as the man from this video on millennials in the workforce spoke with such certainty that I found his message eerily true in many ways. I found it to be intellectually stimulating and thought provoking so it was with that in mind that I wanted to read more into him. I listened to his audiobook as I flew to and from Chicago and he discusses why every person or business that has been successful has started with asking why. I enjoyed his analysis but spent time thinking introspectively about whether it was right or wrong. Sinek makes valid points as to why is important, but does not cover, to me, the most important detail.

 

You must start with your what.

Your purpose, your motive, your desire, your perceived life.

You have to first formulate what you want from your life, whether that be through monetary means, your relationship, your career, or just personal satisfaction and happiness. If you cannot answer WHAT you want, then you will be unable to move forward with why you want to do it. More often than not, I see peers around me caught up in a period of dissatisfaction because they are not living the way they want to.

This phenomenon is what I call mental stagnation.

You are quick to blame outside influences or environmental circumstances because it is easiest to blame or put fault on others, but rather, in reality you are just unsure of what you want. You have the opportunity and ability to make individual choices but are paralyzed because you do not know what to look for.

 

It isn’t about the perfect choice, it’s about making a choice.

I cannot dictate what you want from your life whether I like it or not. You alone have the answer to that question and the beauty is your answer doesn’t have to be right. Your life is highly fluid and will be ever changing in what you want, but it is imperative that you decide because without it, you are leading a life that is directed by a compass that doesn’t work.

You must find your north star and work towards that point even if the north star changes position, you still have your what that you are chasing and pursuing. You must understand that your life is not a dead end and your choices just lead you to other opportunities or shifts in your mindset. If one road closes, then seek another road to get to your north star.

 

Your north star is not the same as your moms.

In this thing called life, we don’t have universal maps that people can follow along with to create their own perfect life. Nobody has mapped out the perfect way for every individual and you shouldn’t think of it in this fashion. It is not about your parents, your peers, the Instagram pages with a million plus followers, your significant other, or anyone else. Moreover, it’s not even about what you think you should be wanting or what you used to desire.

It is about what you want for yourself at this exact moment.

Think it. Create it. Execute.

 

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

A Message To All Mothers

This may be yet another year that you don’t get your breakfast in bed.

It’s a possibility, that the flowers that your spouse ordered “didn’t come in on time”

Or moreover your kids say happy mothers day and keep going in their day to day life.

 

Although it is this Sunday, I knew I had to write this weeks blog on one of the most influential people in my life. Since I am travelling to Chicago on Sunday for business, I’ll be unable to tell her just how much she means to me, so hopefully this covers some of it.

 

Mom,

As I begin to write this post, I think about hundreds of thousands of different things I could say to you, but none seem to cover exactly how important you are to me.

I can write about how you patched me up when I scraped my knee or brought me to the hospital when I split open my chin.

I could list off the ways you taught me to be around others and the mannerisms it involves or simply that positivity will never go out of style.

I could condemn you for never letting me climb one branch higher on the tree or write about how making my bed never seemed to make any sense.

I could easily talk about all the times that you’ve taken me shopping just because the new styles were in and you didn’t want me to be misplaced among my peers or how I still can’t figure out why you had me and my brother in matching outfits for the majority of our childhood.

I could talk about the trips we’ve taken, the sites we’ve seen, and the travel bug instilled in me or simply the places that we’ve yet to go.

I could talk about how somehow your stubborn ways taught me to want to lead an organic lifestyle or how your emphasis on health has helped mold me into who I am today.

I could talk about how you pushed me to study one more question when studying for SAT’s or how you commanded excellence when in came to school.

I could surely talk about a lot and I’ve probably only scratched the surface of things I could cover, but there’s one area I simply can’t even put into words properly. You have made me into the young man I am today by sacrificing every bit of your life to me and Jay’s betterment. I write this in the most sincere and the most grateful fashion as I have never met a woman that has done so much for so little recognition. I am indebted to all that you have provided me and can say whole-heartedly that a day doesn’t go by in acknowledging how fortunate I am to have you looking over me. You may not get the recognition that you deserve, but I know some day I will show it to you.

I cannot buy you the world, I cannot give you every trip that you may want to go on, but I can say I will forever be grateful for the values and confidence you’ve instilled in me and it’s with that that I hope to re-pay you someday.

I love you and will love you for the rest of my life.

Happy Mothers Day Momma, you are one truly incredible individual.

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

From Penthouse Living to Ground Floor Desk Attendant

 

My time spent at UF was nothing short of a fantasy.

Everything I could have possibly imagined or wanted had come true. Lifelong friendships, leadership roles within prominent campus organizations, working alongside student leaders and faculty alike creating a lasting impact in the local community, and being surrounded by individuals that challenged my intellect on a daily basis. When applying to positions, I simply got them; it was both a combination of personality traits and general likeability, luck, and a little bit of my whiteness.

I was on top of the world and still feel as if I am.

This dream state is quickly reversed when stepping out of Gainesville, however. I technically have a semester left due to an internship credit that is required by my college, but have began the process of job application and quickly realized the grand persona that I had created in Gainesville does not transmit to paper.

I could walk anywhere on campus or go in most classes and know at the very least one to two individuals every single time. In social situations, I garnished the respect of my peers and was cheered on at an appearance at any event.

How quickly this is overlooked in the eyes of an employer. Most employers just see another young white man that just graduated from college. They see experience and growth in multiple jobs and a leadership tract that just names off president of xyz or coordinator of this event. Even with descriptions included in both a resume and LinkedIn profile, they are often scanned over and overlooked. 4 years of efforts focused on specific organizations that harbor less than 10 seconds of an individuals attention.

I write this to talk about how disheartening it can be to be thrown back into the bottom of the heap and have to climb back up. The way in which I cope with this is to consistently remind myself of the impact that I have made and to think about what I want my life to look like. It is not the career that will define me, but rather me alone that will define how I am remembered.

Understand that this is a tumultuous process and leaves many stressed to a point of mental breakdowns, but can be countered with understanding that you have value and your purpose is not contingent on getting that one job or internship.

Wishing you a wonderful Friday and an even better weekend.

 

Get ready to move your hips — Song of the Week: DESPACITO

Check out my what I’ve been up to here: (IG)

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

A College Seniors Final Goodbye

 

A culmination of four years ending in one day.

You flip a tassle to the opposite side and you are deemed an alumnus of your university. You sit and ponder all the things that led you to this point and begin to realize just how quickly 4 years went by.

As an incoming freshman to the University of Florida, I was required by a course to write a letter to my graduating self and I found something within it that I found interesting enough to share. I wrote “only about 10% of what you will remember from college will be your classes, the other 90% will come from the relationships you form and the people you meet.”

As my time comes closer until I walk across that stage, I have not been nostalgic, but rather have reminisced on what has brought me to where I am today. It’s true, it isn’t the classes, but the people who I have made lasting memories with that I will cherish for the entirety of my life.

However, this reminds me of a sobering reality of my time at UF. Whether it be at 11:30 PM typing frantically to turn in a paper by the 11:59 deadline or ordering pokey sticks at 2:30 AM because health is obviously the biggest priority at that time, you were alongside not only roommates or organizations that you were a part of, but with the likes of an entire student body of 50,000 plus individuals.

I experienced it briefly during my internship where I moved away for three months. It is the fade away effect. It isn’t based on anger, or disinterest, but more so just a passage of life as you graduate. I know that many of you will be intertwined with my life forevermore, but I also acknowledge that some of you will move on only ever communicating with me through subtle thumbs up or hearts on social platforms.

I urge you, beg you even, to keep in contact with those individuals that had massive impact on you. Ultimately, we are social by nature and the connections that are made in college will never be fully able to be emulated again. Understand that once you start “adulting” and get into the real world, you are not alone, you are a text, call, or FaceTime away from keeping a friendship at full blossom.

I will be eternally grateful for the impact you have had on me and what you have helped me become. Thank you, I love you, and for my final undergraduate time, Go Gators.

 

Song of the Week: I’m The One – DJ Khaled 

Check out my what I’ve been up to here: (IG)

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

What’s The Opposite Of Sad?

99.9% of you will quickly say the opposite of sad is happy.

In reality, emotion is not a binary topic. It is fluid and not singular and can contain multiple feelings and emotions tied into one.

I’ll give you an example, when someone in your family or someone that is close to you passes away, sadness is imminent. But sadness can be countered with the idea that if the individual was suffering, whether it be mentally or physically, you know you would rather them be at peace than continue to struggle for their life. Emotion is not like a light switch in that it can be both turned on and off and that it isn’t just two sole possibilities.

There are multiple emotions that can attach to your happiness and this is what I like to call the hazy moment. Those days that nothing is wrong, but it just doesn’t feel right. Rather than becoming completely deflated by this hazy state, what I do is try to define the emotions that I experience. More often than not, I cannot attribute to what exactly causes certain negative emotions, but thinking about it and thinking out loud whether that be through writing or speaking to someone about it helps identify what is going on.

When looking at it from a macro scale, negativity is a factor in everyone’s life, but it is how we counter it that dictates how long it stays attached to us. My advice to you is this, when you experience a low in your life define your emotion and don’t think of it as a black and white feeling. Think about all aspects that contribute to it and then find the ones that are causing the greatest level of sadness or negativity. Acknowledge it, but find solace in the areas of your life that pull you away from those.

A little deeper than my normal, but I know as school begins to wrap up for many of you and work loads are getting tougher for first quarter reports or exams, it’s important to keep your mental health strong.

Happy Friday.

 

 

Song of the Week: Older – Rowlan

Check out my what I’ve been up to here: (IG)

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received

 

You work hard, but you fake hustle.

I’ll repeat that: you work hard, but you fake hustle. It shook me to my core. It infuriated me internally making my blood boil like I’ve never experienced. I mulled over the 7 words and moped in my own personal sorrows until I came to the realization that it was true. I worked to the level that others put me at. I can honestly say, most everyone does. I was caught up in hearing others say you work so hard and you do so much, how do you do it? I was convinced I was at the pinnacle of my personal ability.

Rather, when thinking more about it, I came to the realization that I was working to the level of what others deemed busy or what others considered hard work. I completely disregarded my personal belief on how much I could accomplish because I took the words of what is perceived as normal.

This statement was like a light switch, a fire under my ass, or the smack in the face of simple reality. My perception of workload was dependent on what I perceive as busy, not what others think. This semester, I challenged myself to work even harder and work until I made myself sick. I took on 15 credits for my Senior Spring, I worked full time with a digital marketing agency managing over 11 profiles at one point executing day to day posts and analyzing the field from a macro sense in ways in which to improve their individual platforms totaling around 60 hours a week of work, and also still held my job as a busboy cleaning dishes and serving food at AOII at UF.

I thought nothing of it until someone noted from the outside what I was doing. Mind this, they are over 30 years old and employed full time by the University of Florida. I was asked “how in the world are you doing all of this while being in classes and still being involved?” and my answer was far clearer than I had ever imagined it would be.

I am a machine. I know and understand that I am destined for greatness, but attribute future successes to my ability to work harder than anyone around me. When I was told I faked my hustle, I’ve had an inner battle against my own mental state and my physical body convincing both that I am able anything I want to accomplish.

At times, it’s lonely. I spend long hours behind my phone and behind my computer typing pages and pages figuring out what to accomplish or do next. It’s cost me time from friends, less time being spent in social scenarios like midtown or downtown drinking the night away, but I understand it is a part of the process.

I want to thank you one thousand times over for being a part of my process and seeing and encouraging what is to come. Here’s to Friday. Crush it.

 

Song of the Week: Bambi – Jidenna

Check out my what I’ve been up to here: (IG)

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

Choice Vs. Necessity

 

You are forced to grow when life is at its toughest points.

These points bring up the option of choice and necessity. When presented with a choice, we have the ability to sit on it and ponder what would happen if we waited (check out my thoughts on waiting longer than 48 hours here: 48 Hour Rule). Think of an assignment or a task in your workplace that is out 2 weeks from now and you have free time at this instant. Many people are not willing to work on something that has the opportunity to be worked on later. As humans, we tend to run on deadlines and put in both extra effort and more focused attention when the deadline approaches.

In contrast, imagine being able to run at this speed at all times. Executing with tenacity and doing so far in advance of any deadlines present. This in itself is the primary means for personal growth. It is what you do in the crunch time when you are forced to make a decision that dictates your outcome whether it be successful or not.

Place yourself into these situations, role play if needed, but understand that this is the area where your discomfort and your ability to problem solve is most shown. I quickly relate this to the job search and the stressors that come along with it. I see it often within my friends and even within myself. You begin with an intent to aim at the highest peak and won’t settle for anything else, but deadlines approach and you hadn’t worked on your resume or researched the company enough and are pushed to the aside as ill prepared or undervalued. Think if it were the crunch period months before and how much more willing you’d be to prep and get ready for what is being thrown at you.

I will assure you this, the more you push off your personal deadlines and the more you wait on yourself the more dissatisfied you will be. We thrive in situational uncomfortability meaning that when we are placed into situations that we don’t necessarily know what the outcome will be, we work harder to get through it or over it.

It is your choice in what you want your life to look like, but it is not a necessity to make it into what you want. Make your dreams or your opportunities into necessities and you will be forced to work on those every day and think about them every day.

Happy Friday as always, wishing you all the very best. Here’s to a prosperous and action driven weekend.

 

Song of the Week: Khalid – Location

Check out my what I’ve been up to here: (IG)

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

The 48 Hour Rule

I am fortunate enough to interview high level entrepreneurs on a weekly basis and learn valuable lessons from them that propelled their lives into not just monetary prowess, but a wisdom that is unavailable from a collegiate standpoint. I had the pleasure of speaking one on one with an individual that amassed nearly 2 million followers on Facebook and spoke on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to religion to monetizing your own personality. It was within this conversation that one slight tip popped up that I will never forget.

This tip is the 48-hour rule.

The idea is simple. We are bred to plot and plan and wait to strike at the perfect moment rather than just doing. The 48 hours collectively are the time period for your reactive state. If the idea is still lingering in your head even after 48 hours, immediate action is required on it.

Waiting will kill your dreams. There has never, in the history of the world, been someone that garnishes success just by sitting back and thinking about ideas. It is all about execution and your willingness to execute. Often, I see discouragement comes into play from others because it is unreasonable or unfathomable so it sways you from pursuing it. This isn’t just about possible entrepreneurial ventures or business as a whole, but can be anything pertinent in your life. Starting that blog you’ve always wanted, learning about photography, pursuing your art, or even just wanting to go to the gym. If you never act on your impulse or your thought, you will be stuck in limbo and become dissatisfied at what you did not do.

I part with this; You personally can create and become an amazing version of yourself, but it requires time, energy, and a willingness to perfect your craft. Whatever that may be or how far from reality it may seem to be, you can accomplish it. And even if you fail, that’s just one thing that led you to something even better. Have a great Friday and an even better weekend!

 

Song of the Week: Colors – Audien Remix

Check out my what I’ve been up to here: (IG)

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

The Importance of Self Worth

 

We are enamored with extravagance.

Our personal worth is defined by our ability to seem as if we are living the life we want. Clinically, in times past, we would be diagnosed as having multiple personalities, but instead, it’s just the personalities that are presented on your social platforms and a normalcy in this day in age. I won’t deny it. I have different versions of myself that are pushed to the public on my separate feeds. On snapchat and Instagram, I’m a world traveler with a heightened desire to taste exotic foods and meet with differing mindsets, on Facebook, I am grounded in my friendships that are seen through pictures posted or cat videos I’m tagged in, on LinkedIn I am a budding professional with a desire to be seen as a tie wearing straight edged young man.

What I have come to realize is not only is this exhausting to keep up different personalities, but it drains you as an individual. It takes away from your self-worth by actually blurring the definition of who you are as a person. It’s a process to stem away from because we want to be perceived by others in the way that most positively shows us. However, the more important factor is knowing your self-worth and understanding who you are.

It’s easy to say, but even harder to do. For me, the best way to understand the incredible life I lead is to think every day about the impact I’ve had on other individuals and the satisfaction that comes from simply helping others and being a beacon of positivity. My positivity is ever present because I acknowledge the massive influence of friends in my life, the privilege I’ve taken on of being born into a supporting family, and being loved for exactly who I am (thank you Kasie).

Take pride in yourself. Understand that you are here for a reason and you impact individuals daily. Why not impact people even more by letting your self-worth overflow into others and spread your love to the world.

Happy Friday everyone!

 

Song of the Week: Two Shots – Goody Grace

Check out my recent adventures: (IG)

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

Fear of Failure

You may not realize it but you are inadvertently controlled by others. Regardless of how independent you are or how often you say IDGAF, there is still a slight emotional or mental connection you have with others. This is where I want to introduce the fear of failure. More often than not, your fear does not stem from individual factors, but rather the fear of disappointment of those that “care” about you. Whether that be direct family, your significant other, your friend group, or people that garnish your attention and dictate your well-being. Your primary reasoning is to not disappoint.

When looking at this in the real world, it is what I perceive as a massive underlying aspect of my friends and people around me not pursuing what they truly want from their respective lives. You are conditioned to think and act by certain mannerisms from those around you, whether you like it or not. Your decisions rely heavily on what you believe others will think especially those tied to you by blood or by friendship. It is with this in mind that I think many college graduates pursue the corporate culture because it is engrained in their mind as the only real path to success.

Outside of this fear of letting down those close to you and going outside of the norm, the primary purpose  of me writing this article is solely about fear. We live in an “idea time frame” where we are able to think of the next Uber, or the next Facebook, or the next great clothing line. We focus quickly on the marketing aspect and the monetary capital that you’d have to raise rather than sticking our feet in the ground and creating a product to bring to the marketplace. We fear and adamantly dissuade ourselves from just starting because of factors made up in our own mind or those people that love us saying it’s far too risky and that it’d never work.

It is hard. Really fucking hard. But if you have conviction that you may be on the brink of a million dollar idea, I stress you to chase it. Create your product, take out a loan, bring it to the marketplace and then see if does not work or if it succeeds. This fear is a mental barrier that prohibits many of us from what we truly want and I hope after reading this, you are inspired to chase what you want. Chase your dream job, chase your dream life, and chase every day with constant fervor and a desire to learn. You’re the youngest now that you’ll ever be. Go get it.

 

**Side note — Take selfies. People like seeing your face.**

 

Song of the Week: idfc – blackbear

Check out my recent adventures: (IG)

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham