The world isn’t near perfect. In 2018, there are still inequalities and injustices that need to be dealt with.

People aren’t always kind to each other. Bad things happen. The news cycle spins incessantly with stories about what’s wrong with the world.

Although I do believe in the need for change in many areas of society, I also believe in the power of the individual to change his or her own situation.

Why do I bring this up? Because, slowly but surely, society is training you to focus on what you aren’t, what you don’t have, and what you should be outraged at.

You’re a woman stuck underneath a glass ceiling.

You’re a minority trapped in a societal prison.

You’re a white male living in a world where you’re being blamed for the sins of your ancestors.

Let’s all stop, pause, and see what we can do about our situations.

Not to make light of the real problems of the world but we’re currently living in the best possible time to be alive in human history.

Regardless of who’s in office, what the news says, or the labels placed on you, there’s never been more opportunity for you to succeed as an individual — that last word is crucial.

I’m a black man. I could easily spend my time over-identifying with my group. And I’d have every right to do so.

But I don’t because I believe I’m capable of doing anything I want with my life regardless of what I look like.

I don’t follow any strict political lines. I don’t have pointed stances on hot button issues just to have pointed stances on hot button issues.

Instead of waiting on the world to change until it fits neatly in the box of what I believe is a Utopian society, I’m working on changing myself, changing the people around me, changing you.

You can have a greater impact in the world by, as Gandhi said, becoming the change you want to see in the world.

We’re All Human

You’re a human being. I’m a human being. From this side of the screen I don’t know what color you are, who you voted for, or what you think about the latest headlines on CNN.

I bet I can guess a few things about you, though.

You want a good life for yourself and for your family.

You want to do work that means something to you.

You have ambitions for your life, but you probably doubt and second guess yourself.

You haven’t given up hope yet. You’re here reading, which means you’re still ready to change and act, or you’ve already began the process and read these messages for assurance.

Deep down, you believe people are good.

I believe people are good, too.

The society the media and the politicians paint doesn’t match the real world. Why do they distort the picture? To keep you distracted from the truth…

…that you can do anything you want with your life if you put your mind to it.

…that you don’t need help from the man or woman in the oval office, ever.

…that if we all as a society stopped bickering with each other over little differences we’d be too powerful.

Don’t Fall for the Slight of Hand

Stop letting them distract you.

No watching news this week. Do something that matters instead. Write the draft, lift the weight, call the potential customer, paint the picture, spend time with the loved one, serve the community, love the neighbor, care for yourself, seize the opportunity.

No focusing on what you aren’t. Focus on what you are — capable, resilient, human.

No outrage over the latest scandal. Focus on what you can control — your attitude, your action, your own moral fortitude and example set for others.

Maybe I went a little deep with this one, but what I see today appears to be a classic magic trick…

How does a magician trick you? He misdirects you. He draws your attention to his distraction while the real trick is happening elsewhere.

Don’t let the current climate of society trick you. While you’re focusing on what to be mad about you’re missing out on all the good the world has to offer.

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