Friendship

Friendship-Quotes-1

Friendship is essential to the soul.  Regardless of how independent you think you are you’re going to need at least one good friend to survive in this world.

But what is a friend?

At it’s core, a friend is a someone who has your best interests at heart. Regardless of whatever situation you’re going through, you can always rely on your friends to help pull you through. A true friend wants you to succeed in all areas of life.

There are friends of mine that I’ve known for a couple of years that are just as special to me as those I’ve known for over a decade. Every friendship is different because I’d like to think that each friend fulfills a different purpose in my life.

A friend is bold enough to tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it. A person who agrees with everything you say isn’t a real friend, but a yes man.

A friend’s behavior should be consistent in public and private. In other words, if someone is talking negatively about a friend in your presence then you should immediately put them in their place. If not, you’re clearly a fake friend.

Cherish and nurture your friendships. As you grow older, your friendships should grow in their level of maturity. Challenge each other to do better. If you find that a friendship is becoming stagnant or too one-sided then cut if off. You should never have to force someone to be a friend.

I think it’s appropriate to conclude this post with the scripture Proverbs 27:17. For it paints a fine picture of what friendship looks like.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

 

 

Advertisements

Time

119509830

Today presents a slew of opportunities for you to chase your dreams and make a difference. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you’ve done. Don’t harp on your own personal shortcomings when it comes to assessing your ability to do good.

Make the most of every moment you’re presented with because your time on this earth is precious. One day you will leave this physical world and stand before God to give an account of what you did with the time he gave you. This life isn’t designed to be lived for your own selfish means. Instead of chasing worldly pursuits, use your time to make a positive difference in as many lives as possible. Love others hard, and by love, I mean share with them the love of God. Treat others as you would like to be treated even when they make it difficult. Love your family, friends, coworkers, and everyone else.

Take chances even when those around you think you’re crazy. Life is too short to not spend pursuing your passion. You don’t want to waste your younger years toiling in mediocrity at some dead-end job. But even if you’re doing so, be sure to dedicate your free time to working on your passion. And if you find yourself chasing a dream into your 40s, 50s, 60s, or 70s then my advice to you is to not quit. Keep at it with the same vigilance of a 20-year old. You may even fail, but guess what? Most successful people have failed at something. Learn from your mistakes, brush yourself off, and try again.

Love God with all your heart and soul. This doesn’t mean living by a legalistic set of expectations. You may mess up. You may lie, commit adultery, or even kill someone. Well I hope no one reading this ever commits murder, but you get my drift. Whatever the sin, ask God for forgiveness, change your ways for the better, and get back in the race. Serve God faithfully in your local ministry. Read your bible and seek to understand the scriptures. Pray daily and ask for God’s wisdom in those situations that weigh heavily on your mind. If you don’t know God ask him to come into your heart right now. Talk to God about everything, the good and the bad. He knows your thoughts from a far off anyway.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: you can be a Christian and still live an exciting life. There is nothing dull about Christianity.

Live your life in a manner that will leave a legacy for generations to come.

Every action you take, big and small, is another building block that will go toward creating the person you’re destined to be. And it all goes back to how you use your time. Use it wisely.

 

Discipline Your Gift

Jay-Z. Stephen Curry. LeBron James. Kendrick Lamar. Drake. Taylor Swift. Shawn Michaels. Ric Flair. Michael Jordan. Kazuchika Okada. Hulk Hogan. Steve Jobs. Satoshi Kon. James Joyce. Michael Jackson. Charles Dickens. Virginia Woolf. Hayao Miyazaki. Bryan Danielson. Nas. Stephen King. Prince. Bishop TD Jakes. Kirk Franklin. Jushin Liger. Dwayne Johnson. Steve Austin. Mamoru Hosoda. Rey Mysterio. Akira Toriyama. Kevin Durant. Tim Duncan. Kobe Bryant. Leiji Matsumoto. Madonna. Beyoncé. Hiromu Arakawa. George Clooney. Leonardo DiCaprio. Ice Cube. Hiroshi Tanahashi. Dusty Rhodes. Sean Penn. Kanye West. Johnny Depp. Janis Joplin. Julia Roberts. Nicole Kidman. Satoru Iwata. Shigeru Miyamoto. Billy Graham. Eminem. Ghostface Killah. Elvis Pressley. Bill Gates. Pablo Picasso. Rihanna. Jack Kirby. Stan Lee. Christopher Nolan. CeCe Winans. Jimi Hendrix. Vincent K. McMahon. Shania Twain. Randy Savage. Walter Cronkite. Coco Chanel. Kenta Kobashi. Truman Capote. Edgar Allan Poe. Ernest Hemingway. Bret Hart.

I could go on and on, but the one thing that every name on this list has in common is that they are and were some of the very best ever in their respective industries.

The only difference between them and your regular run of the mill athletes, actors, actresses, artists, musicians, writers, designers, developers, directors, tech gurus, and religious figures is that they disciplined themselves enough to work their God-given gift to perfection.

Discipline is the key in all of this. The world is filled with talented individuals who never take the time to sit down and perfect their gift. Talent means nothing without discipline. Train your gift to the point where you can do it better than anyone else. Only then will you be able to add your name to the list of greats.

You Matter

 

finger-pointing-at-you

Everyday you awake is a gift from God.

Whether or not you realize it, you’re an answer to someone’s prayer.  You hold the solution to their problem.

You have everything inside of you to make a great impact on the people in your environment–the students you attend school with, the members of your church, or the people you work alongside. You were born with an innate talent that has the potential to bring you before great men. You may not become president of the United States or the leader of a Fortune 500 company, but you have the power to make a difference in the lives of many.

Love your family and friends. They depend on you more than you realize.

Never take your life for granted. It matters. You matter.

PS: I’ve used the word you fourteen times in this post. To whoever is reading, this post was specifically written with you in mind.

Kill The Laziness Seed Before It Grows

As a writer, I can attest to laziness being the main culprit behind my lack of productivity. Most pieces of writing advice I read say it’s imperative to write on a daily basis even if it’s nothing more than jotting my thoughts down in a journal. But laziness holds me back from writing a single sentence on most days.

Although my writing has been most affected, laziness has seeped into nearly every area of my life. Sometimes I’m too lazy to pray, exercise, or iron my clothes.

I must get this monkey off my back. Success won’t just fall into my lap. My book will never be written until I put in the work. My coworkers and family members won’t be blessed until I put in the time to pray for them.

For any readers going through a similar scenario, I encourage you to kill the laziness seed before it grows any further. Determine what mental/spiritual roadblocks are hindering you from living a productive life and cut them off at the root.

There are people in your world who need to see your greatness and your laziness robs both them and you.

Turning a Negative Into a Positive

5b013afd74d2bfd23a35f3b1d3cf112d

It’s human nature for us to always assume the worst in everything. Let’s take a look:

We’ll never be on time.

Something will go wrong with my presentation at work.

My children will never get their act together.

I never have enough money.

Let’s see what happens when we frame these statements in a more positive context:

I can be on time for work.

My presentation at work will go fine.

My children do have their act together.

I have enough money .

These sounds much better, right?

The words we say on a continual basis play an instrumental role in shaping our worldview. Instead of speaking and living as though the deck is stacked against you, begin living as though everything is rigged in your favor.

Am I saying that it’s easy to transition from negative to positive speech? Heck no! Will your positive speech automatically fix everything? Of course not.

But if I have the option to speak positivity or negativity into a situation then I will always choose the former.

 

The Man I Want To Be

11402434_10101339580397053_4328264089290288940_o

In case you don’t notice the uncanny resemblance, they man I’m pictured beside in the above photo is my father. His name is Ricky Dove.

This picture was taken moments before my wedding.

By our very nature, we share a lot of similarities. But we’re also two entirely different people. Several of my dad’s characteristics did not pass down to me.

He’s an avid outdoorsman, while I don’t enjoy being outside for long periods of time. He’s a go-getter who will find a solution to any given problem, while I adopt a more easygoing “whatever happens will happen” state of mind when it comes to solving problems. He can look under the hood of a car and automatically diagnose what is wrong with an engine. I have difficulty even opening the hood of my car.

You get the picture.

My dad and I have always had a good relationship. We don’t talk to each other every day, but we probably don’t feel the need to since we live only 30 miles apart and attend the same church.

A couple of weeks ago on Father’s Day, there was a young man in our church who was having a rough time making it through service. It turns out that his own father, who is out of the picture in his life, had made some broken promises to him. As me and some other men attempted to cheer him up, it really hit me just how fortunate I am.

Up until that point I’ve always taken it for granted that I grew up in a household with two loving, supportive parents. My father was always right there alongside my mother through the thick and thin. Everyday wasn’t a bed of roses, but my father was always in the home as an example of what a real father/man should be.

I’ve been observing him more closely in a lot of areas, including the way he performs his duties as a deacon at church and in his relationships with my mother, his father (my grandfather), and all the other men and women in his life.

Am I saying that he’s perfect? No. But he’s the best example of a man that I’ve been around my entire life and the older I get the more I find myself wanting to be like him.

A Letter To My Journal

 

20160728_202450_resized

Dear Journal,

It’s been awhile since our last visit. A lot has happened since then. I’ve purchased some new goodies to record my thoughts in, but I just didn’t feel right leaving you behind.

I purchased you last year with the sole intent of starting a new chapter in my writing life. At first it was going great. You were the new shiny toy that got all my attention. Then I kicked you to the curb as soon as other better-looking toys came along.

I’d still give you the occasional glance as you collected dust on my shelf. I’d even pack you in my bag as I headed out to work thinking that I’d have time to devote to you on my lunch breaks. But I should’ve known better.

Here I am giving you another try. I know I haven’t been the most faithful, but I’m determined to do right by you. Too many of your blank pages need my words splattered across them.

I’ll do my best to not let you down again.

Sincerely,

Jeuron

Why Charlotte Flair is in A League of Her Own

Charlotte_bio

The date was May 29, 2014. The event was the first live NXT Takeover special at Full Sail University. The match was Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya in the finals of the NXT Women’s Championship tournament.

Charlotte won the championship in what was considered as one of the best WWE women’s matches up to that point in history. Immediately after, it seemed as if all the praise was universally directed toward Charlotte. Sure, her performance was phenomenal, but Natalya was clearly the ring general carrying things.

Although Charlotte had started wrestling more than a year prior, this match was Charlotte’s official coming out party to the entire wrestling world.

charlotte-v-nattie

Like any second or third generation star, the road to success isn’t a guarantee in WWE. For every Dwayne Johnson and Randy Orton, there is the example of Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr., two men who were never able to live up to their fathers’ respective legacies.

Just imagine the pressure Charlotte must have been under considering that her father, Ric Flair, is regarded as the greatest wrestler to ever live.

Charlotte’s success over the last couple of years is even more remarkable when you take into consideration that she never wanted to be a wrestler to begin with. The family star was to be her late brother Reid, who died of a drug overdose in 2013. It’s for this reason Charlotte often says that she’s living out her brother’s dream.

More than any other performer, Charlotte has been at the forefront of the revolution that has transformed the very fabric of women’s wrestling in WWE.

WrestleMania

Truthfully, I wasn’t the biggest Charlotte fan for a long time. When the NXT women’s division really started gaining momentum in 2014 I felt that Charlotte lacked the personality of her contemporaries Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch. Collectively, these four women became known behind the scenes as the Four Horsewomen.

When the three made their jump to the main roster in 2015, I was the least excited with Charlotte. Well, I was disappointed in their entire presentation. For several months, the company was in a strange process of transitioning from the Divas era of scantily-clad women with little to no wrestling background into the current era that is defined by a more athletic breed of female performers who grew up as wrestling fans.

Being that Charlotte was a good wrestler and Ric’s daughter, it made all the sense in the world to build the division around her. Charlotte defeated longtime Divas champion Nikki Bella at the 2015 Night of Champions PPV to begin her own lengthy run. Even after winning the championship I can’t say that Charlotte came across as a bigger star. She was just missing something.

Enter Becky Lynch.

The Irish Lass Kicker was a natural babyface who was a perfect foil for the soon to be heel Charlotte. In terms of entertaining television and storyline consistency, it was the first women’s program of the new era to really get over in a big way with the fans. By the time they wrestled at the 2016 Royal Rumble Charlotte had clearly established herself as the division’s top heel.

maxresdefault

Like many great wrestlers, Charlotte found her true calling as a heel. As a babyface, she was the epitome of a vanilla performer—technically proficient, yet bland. As a heel, she oozed confidence in and out of the ring. Even better is that her legendary father managed her for several months. Following the loss of his Reid, it was nice to see Ric having so much fun alongside his daughter.

To show how much of a cornerstone she had become in the women’s division, Charlotte entered WrestleMania as the last Divas Champion and defeated fellow horsewomen Sasha and Becky in a thrilling triple threat match to become holder of the new Women’s Championship. Her win on the biggest stage of the year solidified her standing as the #1 woman in WWE and effectively marked the end of the Divas era.

While Charlotte was already on the top of the mountain, it was her program with Sasha that took her to an entirely new plateau. There are certain wrestlers who can produce magic whenever they step into the ring together. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat, Rock vs. Steve Austin, and Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn all fall into this category. Charlotte vs. Sasha is the women’s equivalent.

From July-December, they traded the Women’s Championship six times. While it was overkill in a sense, they tore down the house on so many occasions that I can overlook it. They headlined two episodes of Monday Night Raw and wrestled in three PPV singles matches, including the main event at Hell in a Cell. Charlotte vs. Sasha was voted by PWI as the 2016 Feud of the Year and finished 4th in the Wrestling Observer’s year-end poll.

sasha-banks-charlotte-WWE-sasha-wwe-sasha-banks-wrestling-divas

When the dust cleared there was little doubt that Charlotte emerged as the ultimate victor. While Sasha beat her on three occasions, Charlotte always came out on top when it mattered most, on PPVs. Speaking of PPVs, Charlotte had a streak of 16 consecutive PPV wins that ended with a loss to Bayley at Fastlane. Charlotte got her second WrestleMania moment in a losing effort against Sasha, Bayley, and Nia Jax. Having accomplished everything there was to do on Raw, Charlotte was traded to Smackdown in April.

Charlotte is currently set to compete in the first ever women’s Money in the Bank ladder match this Sunday. It’s a safe bet that her performance will be among the highlights of the match.

When looking at the top women wrestlers in WWE, she stands atop the heap. She has the entire package—looks, workrate, charisma, verbal ability, and tenure on top. She is in a completely different league than her predecessors Trish Stratus and Lita. It almost feels unfair to compare her with any woman that came before 2014 since the goal of women’s wrestling in WWE was much different up to that point in time.

If Charlotte keeps up her current pace for another couple of years then it will be increasingly hard for any woman to measure up to her stature. When the book is finally written on her career she will likely go down as one of the best women wrestlers this country has ever produced.

Moving Forward

race-badge-keep-moving-forward

It’s currently 12:45 am ET as I write this. I want this post to serve as a reminder to everyone grinding toward their dreams. No matter how far behind you think you are in life, don’t give up. Every morning you arise is another opportunity to reach your goals.

Don’t be concerned with those around you that belittle your ambition. Eventually they will be the ones watching from the sidelines as you cruise to victory.

The race is not given to the swift, but to the one who endures. Don’t worry about how long it takes you to get to the finish line. Just get there.