The Return of “Black Manhattan”

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Throughout the hardships, misaligned cruelties and negligent disparities from your blinded foes; you have tried with mixed results to capture the essence of your identity. Your communities are under constant fire and your leaders as ass backwards in there military stances concerning your predestined conditions. Yet, a plan and purpose has been set for your rise to the top. You are entering into a new level of understanding concerning the implications concerning the last 400 years of blasphemy to your psychological thought process. Despite what you are being forced fed from our “Universal System of Global Media” , things are really on the up and up. The time is now and you are at the brink of greatness. What’s taking place is what I would like to call “The Return of “Black Manhattan“.

At this present moment your thoughts have been trapped in the womb of time awaiting release. The silence that you have experienced over the last 5000 years is but a blip in the cog of our universal wheel. You have taken a journey that was used to help nourish and navigate your soul. No other nation of people possesses these indistinguishable traits. You have been engulfed in the embryonic mother/father consciousness, and new portals have opened. In order to release the light that has been hidden behind those dark clouds, you must begin to become cinematic producers of cultural intelligence. Your blinders have been removed so that you can share with the world secrets concerning the incubation of your communal void. The “Communal Void“, when removed will create a cosmological paradigm shift that will remove fear, disillusionment, old negative patterns, hostility and trauma from your life. It will usher in a more loving presence concerning the divine, giving you a greater sense of self.

Fear will no longer be able to corrupt the strands of your DNA and paralyze your creative energies. Understand that these fear based thoughts were on a sub-primal level, which was actually beneficial concerning your survival. Considering, God’s retribution,spiritual blindness, slavery, and war on every side, you were still able to overcome and remain standing for a time such as this. The birthing phase is at hand and you must push on in order for new life to spring forth. You are now receiving inner guidance, creative awakening in your genius principles, new thinking patterns, truth, wisdom and so many other gifts from the divine.

Whether you believe this or not just take a look at our community. Who can we trust? It’s no accident that why we cry out from the street corners, graves, and rooftops. We march in the streets and continues to take the psychological abuse that gets dished out in many arenas of our existence. The learning that has been taking place while we have been living at the bottom of these subcultures has been profound.

All of this preparation is coming on the back of an idea whose time has come to spring from the soil of time. Life is beckoning your energy. No longer can those silent pangs go unheard by the master himself. You have been learning to sort out the ego’s guidance and the manifestations of the spirit. Currently, you are swimming in a state of emotional unrest where conflict rules your environment. All you must do is remain steadfast and remember that you will never get put into a compromising situation, where guidance is not present and where there is no voice of reason available.

As a role in these “coming attractions” you must infuse the courage to heal, learn your incarnate lessons, and pass on these lessons through books, film and media outlets that supports your cause. Remember, nothing is an accident and that all learning lessons vary according to an individual’s life purpose. Embrace your inner wisdom and allow those subtle messages to come forth, the ones that aim to add light and love into the cosmological fabric of life. It takes time but you will inevitably have to sort out that emotional clutter, and recognize that some of it will be stronger than the other, but that ancient wisdom will serve love’s awakening.

Be Blessed !

A Quiet Commune

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How does one’s inner song come alive?
Do we curse the cunning and cumbersome feline?
Or do we stroke its genius with crowd-pleasing
cryptic messages. Since we long to remove the
Corruption from our contradictory selves.
Why not invoke a conversationalist to tap that muse on its head?

Do we dare not conform to the patterns of this world?
Can we escape the anthology of our consciousness?
To whom do we owe our concise mathematical commotion.
Can we aspire to become clothed in our own divinity?
Who will celebrate our burdened bureaucracy?
Or do we just let freedom ring.

A wise man once wrote “ Behold, I have refined thee
But not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction”
Just as a way to soothe the pain of yesteryears.
A mere removal of the brainwashing by the biblioklepts.
A gradual blossoming of the mind.
A blissful blend of barbaric and astute arithmetic.
A quiet Commune.

Navigating Our Collective Power

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It always seems impossible until it’s done.
~Nelson Mandela

As African begins to awaken those spiritual dimensions that has been kept in bondage for centuries, to formulate a more global group consciousness surrounding our planetary systems; the image of Nelson Mandela, Apartheid and his attempts to synthesize Africa’s collective power comes into focus. On the 9th of October 1963 Mandela and 10 others were put on trial and sentenced to life in prison, at the Palace of Justice in Pretoria (South Africa), for sabotage in what would become known as the “Rivonia Trial”. The “Rivonia Trial” was named after Rivonia, the suburb of Johannesburg where African leaders for conducting secretive meetings at Liliesleaf Farm all in the name of “Apartheid”. These underground interludes would ultimately lead to Mandela’s famous “Speech from the Dock” which was held on April 20th, 1963 which become immortalized.

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” ~Nelson Mandela

Two months later to the day of this immortalized speech “Speech of the Dock” on June 11th, 1964 Nelson Mandela and seven others were accused, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Denis Goldberg, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni and sentenced to life in prison at Robben Island. It was at this moment that South Africa understood that change had come. It was more of a spiritual unity that anything else, that excited and united a new liberated front apart from the Sharpeville nightmare and racist demons that haunted the South African shores. Why? Because the fights and protests grew stronger and stronger even while Nelson Mandela and his American National Congress (ANC) fellows remained imprisoned. Mandela’s vision for a “United Nation” superseded his ability to win the battle but ultimately gaining him momentum to win the war. Nelson Mandela, as a philanthropic Humanitarian was a master politician and could see change light years ahead of his daily agenda.

As a foundational model for “Synthesizing our Collective Power” Mandela could see all people of African descent united on a global front getting along with individuals from all walks of life. Because, Mandela set out to overcome the racist ideals and a non-democratic agenda from white South African’s, he had to learn when to be unyielding and when to compromise, because he was dealing with racism from black and white individuals in South Africa. His rise to power after being imprisoned for 27 years was no accident. Like Joseph’s “Pit to the Palace” experience Mandela also was able to become prime minister in the form of President of his country four years after he was released from prison. Although, he served a longer prison sentence than Joseph nonetheless he still represents the legacy of a man who suffered injustice, humiliation and loneliness in his “Long walk to Freedom” as told in his biographical depiction of his Christian faith.

The Next Steps
Like Mandela, you must not focus on your economic conditions, racism, lack of education, current circumstances, poverty, ignorance, debt or the hatred that may fill your country and surroundings. You must instead look beyond your culture in the USA to see a bigger & more oriented, organized level of unity coupled with strategies that will help to outpace, outmaneuver, and to outsmart the forces in America that seeks to keep you and your community in a powerless position. As the last chapter of this book, the intention is to construct a strategy to be used as a guidepost towards creating a tactical response for synthesizing the collective power of our minds.

When, I begin researching for concepts and ideas a few years ago, it was evident to me that the success or failure of this project would depend on whether I could meet the following objectives:

1.To bring together a group of individuals who share’s altruistic values, who wants to build interconnected solutions for Global Development, and tackle issues that confronts our community.

2.To underscore the role that Africa – American Entrepreneurs, Thinkers, and political strategists play in strengthening our power base, and collectively uniting those forces on a global scale.

3.To invigorate the Entrepreneurial and Visionary spirit in our artistic rebirthed “Black Renaissance” Harlemites and those “soon to be” entrepreneurs to engage in the thinking process concerning global business development, thus accelerating our global networks of business within the African Diaspora.

The completion of these objectives shouldn’t leave you with a feeling of confusion based on our refusal to unite and love another enough to build our own economic base. Although, I do believe that we face a great uphill climb to rectify our opposition, I have never been more inspired like I am now concerning the spiritual, economic, political, financial and technological changes that is taking place in our world. I have always looked at problems from a very logical standpoint one in which could always see a viable solution at the end of the tunnel. Consequently, as fitting conclusion to this project I have added a strategic analysis of how to “Visualize The Hustle” outside of the aforementioned chapters that also provide great guidance and commentary, in addition to a few bonus strategies that will allow us to capitalize on our visionary stance while acknowledging that we need support from our peers around the world.

Strategic Analysis
Before a strategic plan can be developed in lieu of helping us to see clear through into the wave of innovation and business success, it’s important to understand the lay of the land and to evaluate the strengths within the entire global ecosystem of the African Diaspora. Asking questions like What resources do we have at our disposal? Or should we create our own form of currency like top cryptocurrency Bitcoin? Or is there a way to redefine what wealth means in an age where currency is beginning to change form? Visualizing the Hustle, is more than just turning a hope, wish or dream into a worthwhile enterprise, but more so about learning how to release the angel that is imprisoned in the stone.

Wallace (1993), expresses that “there exists an angel in the vision that each of us produce that we must work to release. The strategy that plays into “Synthesizing our Collective Power” hinges on chiseling away at the hard marble stone surface of our collective power, towards the remaking of a beautiful portrait of excellence and success. Opportunities are endless to the imaginations of those who can capitalize on the collective and synthesized power of the diaspora. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats abound but nothing can prevent the mind from building consensus towards the goal of seeing beyond the present reality of today in defense of possibilities that helps our people to become economically independent. Yes, there is a lot of power that resides in a vision but even more power that resides in the notion that risking your life for the advancement of your people is the only route to take. #Give me life or death.

It was Nelson Mandel who was a “Black man in a White Court” in the Old Synagogue court, Pretoria in 1962 where he was accused of inciting persons to strike illegally (during the 1961 stay-at-home) and that of leaving the country without a valid passport, all the while conducting his own defense (Mandela, 1990). Had Mandela not seen in other African States, black and white individuals mingling and cohabitating peacefully, trading, doing business and using the same public transportation; who knows what direction South Africa would have taken by now. It was Nelson Mandela’s vision towards a more democratic and united front for South Africa, that will help bridge the gap towards Black Entrepreneurs and the future economic success of the Diaspora regarding the process of change.

Strategies
The overall Strategy should entail us to look at the world through a different lens, granting us a sense of self and allowing us to see how we can link sources of capital (Human, Financial, Digital & Spiritual), that exist within the Diaspora ecosystem. To regain control of our financial leverage is an understatement in these shifting sands of economic turmoil that is taking place in our world (Monetary Collapse, Brexit, Stock Market Manipulation etc.). It is an absolute must that we build think tanks, contingency plans, create Scientific Breakthroughs, and produce Technological Innovations that helps us to produce novel systems of thought. Once we can gain control of our economic system it will propel us into the national spotlight as the Global Masterminds and Business Innovators that we are.

To support this strategy and to deliver on our stated mission will require a new understanding of “Vision” as a means towards organizing our collaborative energy, resources, and intellectual efforts. By concentrating on the strategic areas below and working in a collaborative manner across all disciplines, we can then begin to motivate the diaspora in helping us achieve our strategic aims. The suggested collaborative powers are as follows:

Strategy #1 – Leverage the Minds of Past “Black Power” Synthesizers

Over the last four decades of attrition concerning our sense of community and self-preservation, there has been many active attempts to efface the political ideologies and intellectual discourse of our revolutionary “Black Power” synthesizers, the likes of Huey P. Newton, Hannibal, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Patrice Lumumba, Marcus Garvey, Bobby Seale, etc.

As the torch bearers of these great political giants who fought effortlessly for the advancement of our cause, it is important that we embrace a concept of “Black Power” that calls for a more radical approach towards the uniting of our political, social, economic, and educational values as a people. One that makes us to understand the importance of synthesizing our collaborative powers, in addition to becoming intellectually aware of the propaganda and brainwashing that is commonly crafted by the oppressor that lends its hand in making sure we downplay and destroy our own mental elevation.

Since the 1960’s our “Black Power” mandate has been strong upon the shores of White America only to signal that a far greater change was upon the horizon. Black Power come out of a resistance movement to protect and defend our rights to be free citizens, and to show support and solidarity for our self-love in the wake of a very aggressive, violent, and racist time in American history. If you study “Black Power” movements throughout the last 60 years the research will tell you that it’s a cause that you must be willing to die for to create change in the consciousness of your environment. The notion that we die a thousand deaths is as real as it comes. Nothing happens overnight and you will see that “Black Power” is truly Global in scale considering the global population regarding people of color.

Black Entrepreneurs need to learn from the Huey P. Newton’s, the Stokely Carmichael’s, the Malcolm X’s, the Assata Shakur’s, the Angela Davis’s, the Patrice Lumumba’s, the Marcus Garvey’s and, Bobby Seale’s of the world and become more aggressive in the fight towards championing the cause of Black Visionary Entrepreneurs. Keep in mind that synthesizing our collective power is nothing new to the American scene. The European immigrants, the Jews, the Irish, Italians and others always have used their collective muscle to help build their spiritual, economic, educational, financial social and political systems within their communities. I am not advocating something new just the proposal of a greater lens in which to capture what is truly at our disposal.

Strategy #2 – Aggressively Embrace our Collaborative “Thinking Power”

Typically, thinking power reasons with one’s ability to focus, concentrate and to simple get the job done. A notion that allows us as humans to adapt to those extreme and life changing forces that stirs our intellectual capabilities to process new levels of information. In this instance I relate “Thinking Power” to the conscious process of understanding how to gather intelligence where to place it, and how to distribute it evenly throughout the global “Think Tank” Ecosystem. The simplicity of our intellectual prowess governs the man or women who are students in the game of life and who has embrace life-long learning as challenge worth pursuing. Marcus Garvey (2004), in his article called “Educate Yourself” explains that it is of importance to never stop learning. His sentiments hinge on being able to set aside time to read, write, and effectively learn how to communication with your peers from around the world.

To take full advantage of the collaborative efforts of our “Thinking Power”, you must enter the fold by understanding how our collective conscious shifts based on the contexts of our lines, symbols, keywords, colors, and images. Our scattering throughout the four corners of the earth as people of color, symbolizes a mind mapped process that shows us as still connected to the sources but separate from one another. For example, if a pocket of black intellectuals in the Northeast branch of the mind map have ideas and plans written to build a new civilization, but the funds to do so lies with their brothers on the Southeast branch of the map but they don’t know that those brothers have wealth or is even willing to partner wherein lies the dilemma? Now, we see two parts of the equation solved which is the ideas (Northeast Branch) and the resources (Southeast Branch) But, where is the “Thinking Power” or group of individuals who can sync that distance, time, and collaborative efforts towards synthesizing our collective power?

Much like a product cycle there are phases (Seed, Start-up, Growth, Established, Expansion, Mature, and the Exit), which show the ebbs and flows of how a product takes a life of its own. So, to take full advantage of our collective thinking power we must enter in as its moving towards the growth phase, where we have the capacity to experience a period of extreme growth while we are leveraging the resources of both unconnected regions. Why? Because, soon we will enter the maturation phase where our collective thinking patterns may become challenged based a small number of like-minded thinkers that are available. It would be very unwise to partner, or collaborate with individuals that has no interest in building the intellectual capabilities of our community.

One of the biggest mistakes in trying to collaborate with offset thinking patterns, is that you give power to the mind of an individual or group who is controlled by someone else’s thinking patterns. Carter G. Woodson (1933), in his classic” The Mis-Education of the Negro, explains that once a man’s thinking is controlled you do not have to worry about his actions, neither tell him about where he is to sit or stand. In other words, he is already pre-programmed to think and act in a desired manner. Already, he has excluded his intellect from being able to reason properly towards a greater objective concerning his sum parts of the whole. William James (1902), in his “Varieties of Religious Experience” hinted at the notion that we are thinking beings and cannot exclude the intellect from participating in any of our functions. Therefore, prompting the suggesting that we always must embrace the thinking and reasoning narrative of our power.

How to Perfect Your Semantic Intelligence

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But anyone destitute of a theory about the meaning, structure and direction of modern society is a lost victim in a world he cannot understand or control.
~Richard Wright

African-American writer and poet Richard Wright, famous for his critically acclaimed Uncle Tom’s Children, that 1940 bestseller Native Son and his 1945 autobiography, Black Boy epitomizes what it means to derive meaning from a situation that seems hopeless. Having written in the Protest Movement (1940 -1959), Wright was able to use the word “Black” metaphorically to give new meaning to the struggles of black life. Through his semantic intelligence he addressed the problem of perspective through storytelling and his creative imagination. In the Blueprint for Negro Writing “The Problem of perspective” Richard Wright, explains that perspective is that part of a short play, poem or novel that a writer never puts on paper, but is a fixed point in intellectual space where a writer stands to view the struggles, hopes and sufferings of his people (Cite). There must be a conscious level of understanding regarding your artistic expression in lieu of your environment.

You cannot observe the struggle from an angle that is necessary to the psychological upliftment of your community, and not be able to in some form or fashion articulate the imagery of that plight. As an entrepreneur, who has been called to solve problems for yourself, family, community and the world at large, you need to aim at better understanding the insights extracted from your external as well as internal experiences. In our modern society, we call these type of individuals “systems thinkers” and not in terms of solving problems in a systemic fashion, but more so about using reason, logic, and objectivity to build new paradigms of understanding.

Many entrepreneurs have reached that “eureka” moment or have gotten to that point where they feel like they are brimming and bursting with million-dollar ideas. They have gotten mentors, business coaches’, college degrees, hired help, a new circle of friends, and all the “Think and Grow Rich” books that they can find but somehow seems to fall short in collectively bringing together all those parts that makes up the totality of their vision. Why is this? What creates the friction that seems to cancel out those burning desires from manifesting?

Does the unpredictability of our societal norms conflict with one’s ambition to pursue his life-long goals? Although, you and many others may ponder these questions concerning your business success are you able to see yourself as an artist with the consciousness that understands struggle as an imperative consequence of success? The real question here is: Can you face insurmountable odds, continue to build in the face of adversity, and perfect your semantic intelligence all at the same time? No matter your how bleak your current situation may appear, you got to somehow find a way to derive meaning from your life experiences. You must become a human observer, slow down and see the world through a cultural, environmental and biological lens in which you are able recognize the patterns and processes that is shaping your world.

The concept concerning “Perfecting your Semantic Intelligence” is a metaphor for being able to understand the actions of your world through language. This concept may be foreign and in direct opposition to the notion that you got to be going 200 miles per hour to see any true results. Some of my best breakthroughs and learning lessons has come across my plate, while I was reflecting, observing, thinking, writing and learning to transcribe meaning from my failures as well as successes. Understand that business success and language go hand in hand, and to the degree that you can find meaning in your roadblocks, hurdles and uphill battles the greater your success will become.

When you start to “Visualize the Hustle” you will see yourself effectively targeting those informational gaps, building castles, traveling the world, giving away millions to causes that tugs your heart strings, and just imagining the impossible. Allow room for an honest and creative assessment of your time, talent and resources, while you are expanding your awareness on the inside. When you think in terms of perfection that is not to suggest a blameless disposition but a mere satisfying of all the requirements necessary to close your own semantic gaps and give yourself room to perfect your own semantic intelligence.

The Requirements
Perfecting the “Semantic Intelligence” is a life-long educational journey that you must take on to appreciate the beauty in your struggle. It requires you to study the socialization of global ambition which effects your local community. It requires you to understand Institutionalized thinking and the science of community building. What about global inequality, social movements concerning global democracy, and politics of the mind, body and soul? Are you willing to become a defender of truth? The rules of the game require you to understand “Social Disorganization”, a concept that Albert Cohen author of “The Study of Social Disorganization and Deviant Behavior” describes as a situation with no rules, vague rules or conflicting rules (Cite). So how do you perfect your understanding of the circumstances and situations in which encompasses your world, when the creators of chaos and confusion operate without no rules, vague rules or blatantly with conflicting rules.

Semantic Intelligence in this sense is urging you to circumvent the personal ambition in lieu of the collective ambition. How powerful of a force could you create if you found 25 individuals who understands the importance the synthetization of collective power? Through these unions you will have created the necessary leverage to articulate your experiences in a meaningful way. As for now there is a gap that exists concerning the semantics of your life experiences. On one end of the spectrum, you might have a burning desire to change the world but no resources, plan, vision, partnerships or ambition to make that dream come alive. On another end of the spectrum you got all the resources, connections, ideas, and friends in high place but no means to articulate your existence for living.

Closing the Semantic Gaps will require you to gather the necessary intelligence needed to find a greater level of understanding and appreciation in the world in which you live. This intelligence will help you to identify, detect and solve those formative breakdowns that misalign with your understanding and analysis of the problems that truly needs solving. Once you can better understand your personal thoughts, biases and external stimuli that is extracted from your environment, mindset, thoughts, ideologies and perspectives, then you will be able to fill in those gaps and develop a new level of understanding concerning your life experiences. Futurist, Thomas Frey (2018), explains in his article “Computing’s Next Big Transformation- Semantic Intelligence”, that humans don’t think like computers and computers don’t think like humans. Scientist who study these gaps identified many semantics that may be prevent humans from thinking like computers and vice versa, and below points to the main gaps that exists.

•The semantic gap between different data sources – structured or unstructured
•The semantic gap between the operational data and the human interpretation of this data
•The semantic gap between people communicating about a certain information concept.

Let’s be clear you are not trying to think like a computer but derive the meaning from why a human would want to think like a computer and vice versa. The semantic intelligence of any situation is about interpretation and exploration, or the ability to make connection between outside of the box ideals and concepts. Look below and try to see if you can make some connections.

•Mind Power + Fighter Jets
•Black Twitter + Singaporean Politics
•Geiser + Toothbrush Holder
•Entrepreneurship + Poetry
•Donald Trump + Harriet Tubman
•Africa + Pablo Picasso

Do you have a gap between your different data sources in which you derive your information and if so is it structured or unstructured?

In other words, you are trying to find a pattern or process that helps to shape your world. In what ways can you think outside the box of mainstream media and today’s regulated press, to find meaning in your world. Where do you derive your information from? Your friends, family, your religious institution, the library, your muse, blogs, self -help books, the bible, journals, magazines, your inner self? What gaps exist between what you believe to be true and what is actually true? Is this information structured or unstructured? This would be easy to decide if you are only deriving your information from a few sources. But, the big-picture here is that you formulate some sort of filter as to what you allow to penetrate the recesses of your mind. You may be listening, learning and adhering to many different ideologies of our modern world, mistaking it for being learned and or cultures. The experiences that you will derive from traveling, reading and just being a student of life, isn’t about the comes in or goes out but more importantly about what can be extracted from those learning lessons and experiences.

Do you have a gap between your operational data (competitors, creditors, suppliers, customers etc.), and your own interpretation of the data?
Regarding your operational data if you are not seeing your competitors, creditors, suppliers and customers as information specialists you might be in the wrong field of play. What they see about your credit worthiness, your ability to become a threat to their enterprise, the services you provide and your target markets is more about big-picture thinking. You see the mindset is strategic and long-term in their ability to influence life 10-20 from now. As an entrepreneur, you cannot allow the gap of how you view your operational data differ from your own interpretation of the data. Don’t look at the data regarding your inability to perform or to compete at the highest levels in your industry, but find a means to look beyond your current environment to see a bigger and more organized level of unity, that allows you to make better informed decisions about the nature of your business enterprise and transfer that into a computational model of success.

Do you have a gap between people communicating about a certain information concept?

Consider this viewpoint “The glass is half empty for some and half full for others”. These ideologies characterize the semantic gaps between people communicating about a certain information gap. The semantic gap characterizes the difference between two descriptions of an object by different linguistic representations, through language or symbolism. Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? Are you optimistic (half full) or pessimistic (half empty) concerning the information that is available at your disposal? Although, we live in an age where Big Data, Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Cloud Computing bombards the digital landscape, you can still close the gap that would suggest these concepts are foreign language and is out of your range of comprehension. Bringing together a network or group of individuals who share’s a commonality for building altruistic values will need be optimistic about new sources of information that cold spring up to nurture a level of growth and success. You must brainstorm and collectively undergo a shift in your mental dynamics to recognize the shifts in how people related to one another, misaligned value systems, attitudes, and the perceptions these ideals are having on all sectors of society.

Brainstorming
Brainstorming according to Wikipedia is: “a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion or solution for specific problems by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members.” Typically, brainstorming is associated or recognized as a group activity; but in this case, you as the conscious thinker, entrepreneur and word scientist must be able to brainstorm and extract meaning from your incoming information. Whenever you are forced to face the reality of your situation today and the uncertainties of your world tomorrow you will see that there can on be two possible outcomes Either the reality of the present will cloud your judgement and destroy your dreams for the future, or your future dreams will circumvent the reality of today.

Although, research has shown that brainstorming in groups can somewhat hinder or inhibit idea generation, you still must be able to utilize the minds of others and bounce ideas around. Yes, sometimes waiting for members of the group to bring forth their individual ideas, points and opinions, may cause you as the entrepreneur to miss opportunities to express personal inspiration. Generally, brainstorming for an entrepreneur is about finding solutions to problems with the knowledge and intelligence they have acquired. Concerning this context, you must look at certain methodologies through which you can maximize the knowledge of the groupthink in conjunction with your own brainstorming techniques. Many entrepreneurs, business persons, tycoons and magnates carry out lots of market research, and conducts extensive searches into aspects of the world that are overlooked and hidden from plain view.

To this regard, lots of the information is useful and the others not so useful. As a creative entrepreneur just starting out, seasoned or veteran in your approach there is need to be able to sift through these large amounts of information and access the most applicable to your frame of reference. The vision you as an entrepreneur has for changing the world becomes less effective, with a strong and willing desire to brainstorm and make the necessary connection between what you know to be true and what actually exists in the world. This is a highly valuable tool that helps with breaking down problems into manageable equations, and identifying possibilities and groundbreaking maneuvers that aid’s in the expansion of your operations.

Oftentimes, we hear of stories concerning entrepreneurs whose business operations fail with the first five years of production, and then of the success stories of those start-ups that come out on top. Why? Because innovation needs something to hang its hat on. Failure is often a motivator because it causes one to dig deep into the problem of why failure occurred in the first place. A commonality shared between the failed and successful startup is that they both had ideas, they both had visualized dominating their niche, they were both filled with knowledge, skills, etc. The separation point lies in deriving meaning from the idea of business as it relates to the whole verses personal ambition. Most entrepreneurs want to focus on a lot of different things like finance, target market, partnerships, products, sales, incubators, and the technological aspects of enterprise, versus the visions and objectives he feels will best bring positive impact to himself and immediate community.

Statistically, only about 18% of first-time business owners/entrepreneurs have a chance at success. With this very low percentile in mind you must quickly factor in all the means and ways that you can increase that percentage before you even start. Biblically, in Luke 14:28 (ESV), states “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it”. Although, this number can become frightful at the onslaught of building your dream there is also a few things that must be factored in that I overlooked throughout my entrepreneurial journey in which costed me lots of headaches, grief and much pain in which you can avoid. Understand that counting the cost regarding entrepreneurship can mean separating from your family for years, alienating your spouse, spending 5-10 in higher education, undergoing a radical shift in the way you view the world, embracing your entrepreneurial journey as a spiritual process and submitting to a higher process within the entire process.

Free Enterprise, is often glorified and thrown around as a concept that is feasible to the masses. But, at what level of sacrifice are you willing to take on to bring about that burning vision that sits in your soul awaiting release. Successful entrepreneurs who can escape the monotony of challenge, struggle and strife, and the ones who work around those invisible unknowns, and allows their visions to take on a life of its own will become successful in their business dealings. To retain relevance and remain a candidate for entrepreneurial success, the 21st-century entrepreneur should be able to effectively use their semantic intelligence to highlight certain ways which they can brainstorm, and effectively implement the knowledge and intelligence acquired to become successful. Additional ways in which to brainstorm more effectively is as follows:

Carry out in depth market research: There is a need to go into various markets and research extensively to note where the acquired intelligence will best fit in.

Travel: The world isn’t so small, as the popular saying goes. There is a whole big world out there that the new entrepreneur can go into and explore to acquire more knowledge and experience. In this process, it is highly likely that you come across appealing ideas which can be implemented into existing ones.

Explore diverse ways of thinking: There are different methods of thinking and these also change with the times and are constantly yielding better results as time passes. So, the brainstorming process itself should also involve new and diverse ways for the entrepreneur to think and arrive at solutions to needs.

Meet new people: This is of high importance to the new entrepreneur. It is essential to go out and need new people of the same vision. This helps to network and share ideas and also freshen up on the brainstorming process. Striking up a conversation is one of the best ways to get honest criticism and reviews on ideas.

Find a Mentor: It is important for the starting entrepreneur to have mentors to look up to. These mentors are available to guide, motivate and even in some cases, sponsor and facilitate the ideas of the protege.

As I mentioned earlier during the brainstorming process, it is important for you to avoid the groupthink so early in the process. Groupthink, is important and will become a vital component to your success but you must first derive a more meaningful stance of why you want to start an entrepreneurial venture, and the ideals behind what you will have to give up in making that dream a reality. Why? Because in a group setting early in the process you might experience hitting a brick wall in productivity because of apprehension on unproductive ideas and unnecessary questioning. However, as I just previously mentioned you cannot entirely rule out the need to evaluate and pay attention to the ideas of others. This doesn’t mean that the ideas and knowledge of others come first, it simply means that after careful evaluation, you will be able to extract meaning from those the external ideas to further complement the vision and intelligence you have. In the process of brainstorming, for you to accomplish your goals and objectives, there are certain steps to be taken.

1.Take Breaks: It is important to give those mental muscles a break after doing lots of research and brain activity work. Take short vacations, rest, eat healthy food, walk, ride a bike, laugh, and just live in the moment.

2.Stay persistent: As an entrepreneur you need to stay focused and persist no matter the cost. Distractions will come your way just to test the sincerity of your fundamental objective. If you fall in the ditch make sure you take the vision with you until you climb out of the ditch. Keep the persistent vision of what you want to achieve always.

3.Avoid distractions: A major factor that derails entrepreneurs while they are in the process of accomplishing their life purpose is distraction. Lock in to the path that has been set before you and run like hell towards that objective.

4.Stick to the rules: Everything has rules. Even the brainstorming process. These rules must be followed religiously by you the
entrepreneur.

Be Blessed.

The Transformative Space of Nothingness

 

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Speaking from the heart, I espouse to share a few truths that require a bit of transparency.  I don’t intend to teach or persuade but to acknowledge the universe’s mental advances and random genius. 

I am forever persuaded to think in terms of truth. My mental modalities seems to confront the stereotypes that often plagues the narratives of our earthly existence. Given, the historical ramifications of our earthly experiences we see that life has become an educational tool for our spiritual evolution. The opportunities that life is afforded us can sometimes overshadow our internal voice. I am sure we are all aware of our surroundings and our abilities to affect change within those communal spaces. But, is it humanly possibly to exist in a space without no means for allowing our natural creativity to flourish?

The universe has opened her arms for the sake of our sanity. How do we tap into those silent moments and how do we respond to those advances? How should we set the stage for a new narrative that extends out of these new energies that is passing through the universe. At times, I do wonder about the nature and expansive nature of our existence. I have tried with all my might to express ( i.e writing, drawing, reading, meditating, etc. ) these experiences, and I have yet to find one methodology for uncovering those hidden truths that can’t be explained by the human imagination alone. I don’t want to seem so excluded from our physical existence but life is pushing me to explore things from a more creative and planetary lens.

When Exodus 35 showed up, it really helped me to understand these Aquarian ideals and to articulate the very nature of what’s trying to surface in the world.  “And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to perform in every inventive work. “He also has put in his heart to teach……  At any given moment concerning the 7 +Billion souls on planet earth there is something always taking place, that can inspire, lead, nurture, grow, influence,  and help us to advance our positions in these earthly experiences. Do you believe that you are filled with wisdom, understanding? What about having an understanding in all craftsmanship?

I am a firm believer that the true space for transformation begins and ends with our own self concept of truth. What do we believe to be true about our existence? How can we take nothing and create something out of that nothingness? Is it more about being connected with “group consciousness” in terms of community, or is it about being aware of our own need to share our gifts with the world? In one continuous swoop we are living, breathing, and dying for the sanctification of our planet as a living organisms. It seems a great thing to do. It’s the ultimate sacrifice if you ask me. Again, I am not sure what the world is trying to express to me. But, I do find it important to share with the world these small thoughts that comes across the desktops of my revolutionary thoughts.

I am but the messenger of a powerful universe that wants to use me for the benefit of humanity. I can only bring forth those small rumblings of the heart. I hope you make this in incredible day. Enjoy the slowness or busyness of your existence. Live, love, grow, give allow your insight concerning you viewpoints of life to come forth. If you do this daily and allow these habits to surface in your life on a continuous basis, you will begin to see  a new pattern of success that will begin to show up. Peace.

The philosophy of Big-Picture Thinking: The lens through which great ideas are produced.

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I knew I had to find what I have often, descried, as an “insight” I had to see something that was not immediately obvious.                                                                            ~Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa, a Big-Picture thinking intellectual is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in 15 plus countries. His business interests include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. In addition, he serves on many distinguished boards and panels including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ and Global Advisory Board just to name a few. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, which includes his “Giving Pledge” promise, contributions to education, health and development. He and his wife also fund the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. So, how has a literally unknown man from Zimbabwe take an obscure company and turn it into global prominence with a net worth well over $1 Billion dollars to date? The invocation of Big-Picture Thinking

As a Christian man of faith, who utilizes prayer as his weapon of choice, Masiyiwa’s journey towards to his present successes were certainly wrought with obstacles that would engender to stamp out his vision for supporting the needs of his people. After attending the University of Wales where Masiyiwa would obtain a BS in Electrical Engineering, including working at Zimbabwe Posts and Telecommunications Corporation, 1984–1988, as a senior engineer, then principal engineer, and working at Retrofit Engineering, 1988–1994; Masiyiwa soon would launch a business idea in response to the lack of a telecommunications network that was perhaps decades behind the developed world. When Masiyiwa launched Econet as a Christian company amidst a Mugabe regime and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), which has dominated the legislative and executive branches of government since its independence in 1980, he understood then that there is a line between business and politics, in which a business enterprise could operate ethically, with a zero-tolerance policy for corruption and still become successful.

As a new Christian in the faith, Masiyiwa understood that he would have to align his spiritual values with business principles if he was ever going to become a success. Masiyiwa, as Chief Executive of Econet would soon apply for a license from the government of Zimbabwe and get turned down which ultimately lead to a five-year constitutional and legal battle. It was at this moment that Masiyiwa begin “Invoking Big-Picture Thinking” into his life affairs based on limited resources, a wife, two children and the fact that he was nurturing a vision that was beyond his intellectual capacity to understand. Masiyiwa, had to find a way to put his faith into high gear and trust God for not only for the provision, but the wisdom to make the right moves. Masiyiwa, explained that “he would rather be wrong & lose believing God was with him, than to win knowing he wasn’t. In other words, he would have only fought the government’s telecommunication’s monopoly if God was with him. He took God into the fight and came out victorious, and as a result won a landmark ruling opening the African Telecommunications sector to private capital and catapulting Masiyiwa into the mainstream telecommunications picture.

Although, Masiyiwa had no idea what was to come to his legal battle or if he would ever defeat the giant. He did realize that there will forever be a price one must be willing to pay to achieve any level of success. Are you prepared to pay the price? Who could have dreamed that seven years after the founding of Econet that five of those seven years would be spent fighting in court for the right and privilege to transform a nation. Because, Masiyiwa was willing to pay the price to make Africa his inheritance something else transpired that totally revolutionized Zimbabwe’s telecommunication sector forever. In 2000, the government of Lesotho, a small African Kingdom in the majestic Drakensburg Mountains decided to sell its public telephone company in a public tendering process to be managed by Price Waterhouse. The invitation attracted companies from all over Africa and around the world, including a small cellphone network with operations in Zimbabwe and Botswana (Econet).

Although, Econet didn’t meet the prequalification criterion that required bidders to have experience in fixed line telecommunications; it was Masiyiwa’s blind faith and global vision (seeing something that was not immediately obviously) that would encourage him to move forward despite having Vodacom as an established telecom operator in the area for the last 5 years. Yet at the end of bidding, Econet Wireless, won the bid against bigger and more established telecom brands from Africa, Asia and Europe. Today, its operations span the continent of Africa and other parts of the world. How did it achieve such a feat? By deploying a strategy that focused on fully understanding the country it was bidding to do business in; identifying its own weaknesses, allying with stronger organizations, and drawing on the goodwill it had earned from years of honest dealing to raise the money it needed. Through a combination of good intel, strategic alliances, trust based relationships and professional guidance, Econet Wireless emerged from the dust of obscurity into a global Telecom Enterprise.

Strategy and Big-Picture Thinking

Although, Masiyiwa’s took Econet from a back of the napkin idea to global vision, it still commanded lots of courage, faith, prayers, hope, strategic partnerships, timing, due diligence, money and sacrifice in addition to strategy. In my 20 years of Entrepreneurial experiences I have learned that God will always give you a strategy upon which to achieve the vision he has placed within you. The strategy will often come in the form of ideas, thoughts, people, dreams, life experiences, faith, random acts of kindness, loss, solitude, and trust in the process. Big-Picture Thinking in this sense is the willingness to build and construct a vision that will live beyond your means to complete its task. Econet Wireless, will live beyond the vision of Masiyiwa and will forever become a landmark for the new age of entrepreneurial leadership in Africa’s telecom space. As part of this Aquarian age of wisdom, knowledge, technology and communications it was only befitting that the developing countries catch up to speed with internet and computer usage, but only through a strategy that would including the utilization of a wise man pouring water from his basket over humanity thus the Water-bearer.

So, how was Masiyiwa able to quit his job with only $50 in his pocket, with a wife and two children and by faith start a company that would bring Zimbabwe into the modern age? He developed a strategy that would allow him to achieve much with very little. Strategy is the military art and science of marshaling one’s forces to counteract the power and intentions of an opposing force. Masiyiwa, fought a government monopoly through strategic partnerships, land surveying techniques, Big-Picturing Thinking, and strong insights. By sewing together bits of unconnected intelligence, he could perceive that a government monopoly was nothing more than corrupted power swimming in its own pool of lies and deceit, which then allowed him to decipher his plans and prepare appropriate actions. The resources he would eventually need would only come as he became adept at doing more with less. These four strategies below elucidate the foundational narrative of Doing More with less.

Focus on solving problems by understanding the needs of your people
Understand the enemy, your environment and yourself
See the whole picture with eagle eye clarity
Synthesize your complex ideas into a solid plan of action

Although, military strategies carry valuable lessons for budding or established entrepreneurs, especially if they lack the benefit of experienced management and financial stability; it’s important to understand “Air Combat Maneuvering” or what I like to call Cosmic Synchronization. Cosmic Synchronization is nothing more than seeing one’s enterprise as a cosmological spaceship in relation with whole of our existence, with grounds for obtaining a position from which to explore competition from a different lens. It can also represent an artistic expression of the cosmos, or as Vladimir Nabokov as American-Russian Novelist calls it “a desire of the artist to appreciate the entire universe by expanding outward from the consciousness of one’s own perspective into a more unified and coherent possibility”. To survive the hazards of 21st century entrepreneurship, you must be more than the organization you are trying to build.

Obviously, the acquisition of military mindset is formidable but you must see “Big-picture Thinking” as a viable approach towards pushing your mental boundaries beyond the level of education and understanding that is currently present. To thrive in the future, you got to develop a visual representation of what victory looks like for 1 billion individuals. Small victories add up and will always lead to the bigger breakthroughs, but you must stay cool, calm and collected while pressing through the misinformation of your time. If you are not careful you can easily become a victim to someone else’s misaligned “buy low and sell high” truths. If you truly learn to embrace “Big-Picture Thinking” it will allow you to pick up minute and unconnected signals from your environment and the global ecosystem at large, giving you the impetus to piece them together into an accurate assessment concerning the forces that be. Once you are able to take the world as it is, appreciate it for what it provides, and honor its presence then an only then will you be able to make a virtue out of necessity. Every business idea is looking for someone who can lead it into the future. The future is searching for astute business minds who can explain things in detail and to bring order out of chaos. Below I have enlisted a few thought processes that will aid and guide you on your journey.

Everything is Connected
Ordinary people tend to view global situations as isolated events. This narrative is false. Everything is inter-related; where the tail of one event ends, the head of another begins. If you as business leader can connect these events and their causes into a synchronized pattern of thought, then you may be able to predict or formulate your own analysis of what is next to surface over the horizon.

Movement is Constant
Life is not static because environments and people change. Survival depends on riding out every wave without dying out with it. Dumping a wave at its cresting and meeting the next one when it is a ripple ensures that your business, ideas, or strategic objectives never gets washed up ashore. Trends come and go, but businesses remain steadfast to their purpose for existence.

The Power of detachment
Strategists exist apart from the problems they solve. They can offload their own emotions or biases to dispassionately scrutinize the evidence to rightly assign cause and effect. The strategist is brutally honest in their assessment of self and organization. That honesty is key to right actions.

Eyes of The eagle, Ferret and Prophet
When looking over your vision, big-picture thinking demands the eye of a ferret to dig up what is hidden, the eyes of an eagle to get a sweeping overview of the global ecosystem and the eye of a prophet puts it all together and draws meaning out of it.

The Six Thinking Hats
Growing up in the South many challenges confronted African-American men and women of color concerning literacy; as they still do today but in a different train of thought. That’s another subject for another book but I wanted to preface my thoughts concerning a concept I first heard while I was in the third, fourth, and fifth grade. I used to hear my teacher tells the class, right before an exam, a quiz or something that tested our rote memorization to “Put on your thinking caps” Obviously, it was part of a ploy to get us to focus in on completing multiple sections of standardized test or exam that would require the removal of a one track minded approach to success. A “Thinking cap” was not something that really registered with me since academics came easy to me based on my sharp and quit witted mind. But, as I grew up and embraced the art of business as a transformative process concerning my evolution as a human being I soon became introduced to Edward De Bono, a leading authority in the field of creative thinking, innovation and thinking as a skill.

The Six-Hat strategy is a disciplined mindful process for systematic investigation of problems. This critical thinking process created by Edward De Bono facilitates thorough understanding of a problem on the way to devising solutions. It can kick-start the development of big-picture thinking within your thought process and business enterprise. I made use of these strategies as a means for you to go beyond what I am presenting to find a way to create your own “Big-Picture Thinking Hats”. Yes, study these philosophies but don’t become bogged down or stuck in someone’s else’s frame of reference. Again, the big-picture I am present to you is that there is a process that will ultimately lead to success. Take the time to lay out your plan of action and understand how each hat and its color can put you on the road to success. You are now being called to become the “Visionary Artist’ of your generation, so how will you take these six hats and make them artistic expressions of your supernatural encounters.

The White Hat: Represents information that is known or needed. It deals with facts only; arranging what is available and seeking out what is missing. Intel is the bedrock of big-picture thinking. Fact is the raw material for thought.

The Yellow Hat: Symbolizes the optimistic point of view. Thinking from under this heart, the thinker looks at the positives of the situation; searching only for possible values and potential benefits.

The Black Hat:
Is judgmental; it points out flaws in a plan or process; it highlights existing limitations or difficulties, possible dangers and inherent weaknesses. The black hat is conservative and cautious.

The Red Hat: Is emotive. The person in red hat mode of thinking follows their intuition about a situation. The emotions could be negative or positive though not necessarily rooted in facts. They are just feelings to be explored further.

The Green Hat: Is the creative hat; it explores various possibilities and alternatives. Green hat thinking develops innovative ideas or ways of thinking about the problem or solving it. It questions assumptions and changes perceptions.

The Blue Hat: Oversees the entire process. It ensures that those assigned to the various thinking hats observe the guidelines. It mediates the ensuing debate and makes the final decisions on the preferred actions or solutions.

In the end you must be willing to pay a price to become the artist and revolutionary. Novelist and social critic James Baldwin in (Nobody Knows My Name, 1961), explains that “Ultimately the artist and the revolutionary pay whatever dues they must pay behind it because they are both possessed by a vision, otherwise they could never endure much less embrace the lives they are compelled to lead”. Part of your mission as a Big-Picture Thinking revolutionary is to become possessed by your vision. Not, in a sense that you fail to neglect the emotional stability and sensibilities of your followers; but that you are able to reply effectively to the needs of those followers and lead them on a journey of the unknown, granting them peace and clarity concerning their own life structure. The price you will pay ultimately represents encountering a great deal of resistance from opposing forces, that doesn’t want your out of the box vision to flourish in their settled land of inclusion. Stay the course, pay the price and continue to “Think Big”.

Visualizing The Hustle: A Narrative for Creative Synchronicity

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If dying is a must for the vision to be, then dying must be done, for the loss of the vision would make a worse death for the seer.
~~John O’ Neal

John O’Neal, pioneer of African American theater, co-founder of the Free Southern Theater, playwright and social activist demonstrates what it means to “Visualize the Hustle”. His artistic expressions as playwriter, visionary artist, and social activist shows how he was able to transcend the racial narratives of the 60’s, and transform those experiences into a movement that helped to inspire intellectual thought and artistic expression through storytelling. As the co-founder and visionary for the Free Southern Theater movement, his motivation for its inception was to use theater as a means for intellectual stimulation and reflective thoughts concerning Black people in the South, and to aid in the Civil Rights Movement. As a tool for social justice John O’Neal, utilized the artistic talent of his day to frame a new cultural dynamic, that gave birth to the retelling of the Black experience through theater, literature and music, dance and drama.

John O’Neal once stated, “What is the meaning of art in the context of life” and got me to thinking about another form of literature that is predicated upon both a realist rendering of life and the speculative modes of storytelling AFROFUTURISM. Although, literature, theater and the “Black Arts” scene in the 60’s didn’t have a name for its futuristic space age visions, it does seem like an ideal progression of our spiritual evolution as told through the eyes of its artist. John O’Neal as an Literary giant and pioneer used theater as a means for showing us how to become critical thinkers and socially conscious of African thought as a medium of art. Our cultural and linguistic narrative will forever move and integrate us into the burning house as expressed by Martin Luther King. Yet, this burning house isn’t one of integration and economics but one of cultural expression and literary vision. The falsehoods of our time (The Matrix) has prevented us in many ways from “Visualizing the Hustle”.

“Visualizing the Hustle” is a metaphor for broadcasting your multi-million-dollar ideas and artistic expressions through the lens of storytelling. It’s a surreal narrative of your life story, the struggles, challenges, obstacles, the setbacks, the pain, the betrayal, the lies, the transgressions, the deceit, the good times, as well as the troubled and often inconvenienced times. Whether you can imagine your literary muse or not creating magnificent works of art, your art must be expressed in some form that helps to explain the narrative of your existence. Whether it be through painting, sculpture, ceramics, theater, film, fashion, textiles, literature, architecture, music, graphic design, urban design or the likes; you owe to the next wave of artists to help them find meaning in their experiences. Allow them the freedom to take the unattractive experiences and life lessons and turn them into extraordinary renditions of the spirit, like Gregory Warmack who turned his pain and tragedy into a life narrative that will inspire starving artists for decades to come.

Gregory Warmack, aka (Mr. Imaginary), a visionary artist who through his pain and tragedy regarding a near fatal shooting that left him in a coma in 1979; allowed these unfortunate circumstances to spur his artistic ambitions for creating works of art with bottle caps, paint brushes, and furniture. His literary vision expresses pride in the African American tradition, soul travel to ancient civilizations, and inspiring themes of Egyptian Memes. Mr. Womack was a very unique individual often living in his own visual expressions of worlds that he often found fascinating. In addition, to feeling that he was chosen by God to create art using recycling as a metaphor for his own rebirth and survival; his black aesthetic governs this non-conformist, unorthodox and higher plane of thought visionary expression.

Speaking from experience “Visualizing the Hustle” is similar in vein with “The Business of Becoming Wealthy” which is a very artistic, spiritual, visual, and psychological approach towards success. The business of becoming wealthy encompasses tapping into those spiritual riches that resides in the coffers of one’s mind. It means gathering the fragments of your life and laying them out through a new set of eyes, and pulling truth from the very nature of those events. The relationship between misfortune, trauma and creativity will become evident in your life as you embrace the vision of a world that is yearning for expression. You are not your experiences in which you have violently suffered, but you can learn from that wisdom and find a means for stepping into your calling as an artistic being.

So, what are you trying to express? Something happened in your life that needs extraction, and now you have been commissioned to take your “artistic expression”, (i.e. writing, painting, drawing, designing, entrepreneurship, dancing, building, thinking etc.), and transform those experiences in modern marvels. The essence of “Visualizing the Hustle” is about finding the means to create a narrative (Story) about the artistic expression has been hidden and buried in the pain, confusion, and chaotic moments of black culture. You live and work in a world that rarely gets to cherish the beautiful renderings of our cultural expressions, through the eyes of the visionary while he is alive and well. Too often, mainstream America is blind to true artistic expression and cultural representations of one’s inner soul.

Much like rappers, poets, writers, dancers, directors, actors, musicians and the creative professionals who gets paid the most to express their art; there is a benefitting circumstance to being able to express yourself in a way that can motivate and encourage future generations to discover there long lost artistic expressions. As a step in your evolutionary aesthetic that leads to creative self-discovery, how can you expand upon your vision for a better reality that gives the next five generations a better chance at a life beyond your current struggles? What is your art? What do you want to leave behind that has the potential of creating a new narrative in the family dynamics of your lineage?

5 Steps Towards: “Visualizing the Hustle”

Read until it hurts: Literally, and not figuratively read everything you can get your hands on. Touch on the main topics of interest at first that is relevant to your current situation. If you need more money study finances. If you are having relationship problems read books on how to improve your relationships. As simple as this sounds many individuals would rather use excuse after excuse (I’m tired, or I’m too busy, I don’t have time to read, I got to watch my kids, I am hanging out at the bar tonight, my favorite show is about to come on, I am going to the football game, etc.), just to justify the importance of not wanting to improve their situation. If you read 5 books a year and your neighbor reads 25 books a year, don’t be surprised if he is taking flight to a different zip code that represents his level of consciousness. Although, knowledge is power you still must be able apply what it is you are learning towards your future objectives. Reading until its hurts is a metaphor for becoming a life-long learner. Even if rote memorization and college wasn’t your forte you can still hang around libraries, bookstores, and coffee pubs where laptops are frequented and soak up those intellectual aromas.

Write a new life script: Despite what you have been through up until this point a new day awaits you. At this very moment you can rewrite the narrative of your life and in full detail paint a picture of how your ideal day, year, month and year could potentially look like. How does a personal trainer, chef and butler sound for the next 5-10 years? What about a Lamborghini with suicide doors sitting in front your 25,000-square foot Malibu pad sound? There aren’t no limitations when it comes to visualizing your means for a perfected world. When you write a life script it is about a better financial and paradise driven outlook, but it’s more about your spirituality, health, relationships, family and the wholistic perspective of a worldview that you could see yourself as well as your children living in. Think big, write down 100 places that you would love to visit like a bucket list. Put a date on it, look at it frequently and celebrate while removing yourself from being the villain, the victim or even the side-kick. To get you started answer the questions below.

Answer these 5 questions:
If money was no issues what would you be doing at this very moment?
If success was guaranteed what career path would you pursue?
What is one thing that you cannot live without? 
What are your strengths & weaknesses? If you don’t know go and find out.
What types of societal ills & injustices keep you up at night? Find your passion.

As you begin creating a new narrative for your diverse and cultural experiences, make sure you are giving yourself room to embrace these now moments. Regardless, if your current circumstances are good or bad rest in the knowledge that giving “Thanks” can override your penchant to sulk. In addition, it allows your emotions room to decide if it wants to feel depressive, chaotic, and moody or grateful that breakdowns only come to provide breakthroughs.

Design a mural: Regardless, of how you see life you still carry an imaginative wall in your mind where you can paint the most gorgeous rendition of your favorite life circumstance You owe it to yourself to redefine your world and to give it color, expression, shape, form, texture, life, love, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s an opportunity for you to “Visualize the Hustle” and to create visually at any given moment. The mural of your life can encompass ideas, your thoughts and feelings about this world, and just about anything that gives you the space to create harmonious works of art. I am giving you permission to use any technique that you would like, whether it is glazing, dry brushing, or painting with mediums. Visit art galleries, comb through art books in the library but find a way to connect your art with other inspirational works, for the sake of reinventing a new life story. Doodle, use music, take notes, create a vision board, start a blog mix up all those elements and see what comes out of that mix. Again, just think outside the box of your culture and find a way to express your long-lost art. Now, you are “Visualizing the Hustle” because your creativity is fresh, undiscovered, uninhibited and searching for meaning, but in a way, that is grabbing inspiration from a variety of sources around the world through diverse cultural representations.

Journal your nothingness: Throughout my journaling process I have learned some very profound lessons, but nothing like the journaling of my nothingness. Over the years, one of the things that has kept my creativity at bay is the notion that I needed something important to say if I was ever going to have a communicative platform from which to express my art. By art I mean my thoughts, ambitions, ideas, modern marvels, and innovative breakthroughs, colors, expressions, style, shape and form. Although the concept of “Art” means something different to each individual as they grapple with building the bridge that connects one thought to the other; it still implies to discover one’s own genius. When you begin journaling your nothingness you cease from overthinking about your life. In that moment you free yourself from the shackles of your past, and you start expressing whatever spirit wants to express through you. At first, nothing you will think, write or create will probably make sense. The thing is your truth has been buried between so many layers of thoughtless expressions that, it may take some time at first to peel back those false narratives (outdated beliefs), while you are embracing your heart to bring forth fresh artistic revelation. Read a little write a little.

Create new channels of expression: With CNN, Fox News, Aljazeera, YouTube, Social Media, and all the media outlets of the world that broadcasts news to inform you of what’s taking place in your world; how do you find a way to filter through these mind-altering frequencies? Who do you believe? Isn’t it about time you found a way to only receive those uplifting and inspiring stories. Thousands upon thousands of outlets fit this bill but you still haven’t created your own channel of expression. Visualizing the Hustle in this context is about building your own platform, and giving the world your art. If 1 or 100,000 followers take to your truth keep putting it out there for others to appreciate your pioneering agenda for creating your own channels of expression. Be different, and don’t allow this social media culture to dictate the relevance of your intellectual capabilities. You owe to yourself, future generations, and the world at large to bring forth your art. Just be different and make use of the tools that are at your disposal.

Concluding Thoughts
Throughout your journey towards becoming a successful entrepreneur and artistic warrior, you will uncover somethings about yourself that will help you to stay strong in the fight towards building your empire. Your perseverance, determination, grit, toughness, patience, humility and fortitude to carry the burdens of your past through to the finish line will ultimately be what makes you more adept at surviving versus a pocket full of cash. Throw away the narrative of yourself as a starving artist because no such thing exists. In this chapter, I didn’t make a lot of reference to entrepreneurship, because once you tap into your creative abilities and find a problem to solve ecommerce then begins to evolve out of those thoughts. When you begin “Visualizing the Hustle” you become space for creativity and infinite possibilities. Become that storyteller that puts him or herself in touch with a higher truth concerning the vibrational frequencies of our planet. Awaken your divine consciousness to become more aware of the best artform, for creating a new visual identity. Think outside the box, incorporate space travel into your spiritual evolution if you must. See life though a new set of eyes, be bold, courageous and practice what you preach.

Mastering the Rules of Engagement

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Never forget that intelligence rules the world and ignorance carries the burden. Therefore, remove yourself as far as possible from ignorance and seek as far as possible to be intelligence                                        ~Marcus Garvey                                                                                                      

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, a prominent Black Nationalist and Pan-Africanist, Orator and visionary from Jamaica, embodies an individual who has “Mastered the Rules of Engagement”. After spending hours looking at documentaries and combing many different books, articles and thoughts that speak of his legacy and political ideas, I couldn’t help but to appreciate the calling and narrative of a man that carried ideas for a unified African Diaspora without even stepping foot in Africa. Garvey, understood the importance of being part of something bigger than himself. And, to be bigger than oneself means being committed to the struggle and liberation of your people. As the context of “Black Power” became the driving and motivating factor for his grand vision of a streamlined African movement, Garvey took to the notion of economic independence and a military ideal known as the “Rules of Engagement” as a strategic means for bringing his vision to pass. American military forces view the “Rules of Engagement” different from Garvey’s ideals which was based on pride, liberation and economic freedom versus control and fear.

In a strict military sense, the “Rules of Engagement” refers to a directive among military forces that define the situations, circumstances and ways in which the use of force will be directed. In other words, the “Rules of Engagement” acts a code of law that determines the ethical, moral or animalistic nature of a situation. For example, would you kill an innocent civilian who looks threatening but is unarmed? According to the military’s “Escalation of Force” guidelines, soldiers are authorized to kill in self-defense, whether the situation calls for it or not. Can you believe that this is a real directive? Just think about the Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Michael Browns of the world, not to mention countless others who have suffered at the hands of police violence that perpetuates this code of conduct. These victims, at the expense of this militaristic code of conduct aimed at enemy repression; has fallen have fallen prey to the cops’ allegiance to these “Rules of Engagement

Marcus Garvey, as an individual who has “Mastered the Rules of Engagement” stems from his understanding of symbolism. Marcus Garvey understood that the perception of the black race was viewed as being less than humans and animalistic in nature, despite having knowledge of the oppressor’s history as cannibals and cave dwelling blood drinkers. So, instead of perpetuating that typical narrative he created a perspective where we could be viewed amongst ourselves as powerful people first, which would ultimately project out into the world. When you understand where you come from it allows you to look deep into the future with great humility. It allows you to “Visualize the Hustle” and bring forth a grandeur vision for mental liberation and economic freedom for your people. It allows you to create a visionary narrative of a world that puts your people in touch with their spiritual powers. Although, these ideas formulated the narrative for which Marcus Garvey would promote race unity, he did create a few ideas and opportunities for black intelligence to thrive.

Out of Marcus Garvey’s African ideals came the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), the Black Star Line, and a Pan-Africanist movement that would influence millions, and bring together men and worm of color from around the world including Jamaica, Africa, Cuba and Costa Rica. Marcus Garvey, would eventually go on to publish his ideas about Africa in an editorial called Negro World called “African Fundamentalism” where he explained the importance of keeping our minds focused on building and uplifting our race through intellectual pursuits and race independence, in addition to the emulation of our heroes and martyrs who have laid a solid foundation for us to decode. One of the reasons I profiled the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey for “Visualizing the Hustle” is because of his poignant stance on becoming intellectually astute and forthright in our means for economic power. Although, the black establishment of his day thought Garvey’s movement to racially bias and separatist in nature, his vision for a brighter African plight won the hearts of millions and helped to propel the narrative of a more unified and diverse understanding of controlling our own destiny.

Over the last ten decades of attrition concerning our sense of community and self-preservation, there has been many active attempts to efface the political ideologies and intellectual discourse of our revolutionaries, including the likes of Huey P. Newton, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Patrice Lumumba, Bobby Seale, and yours truly Marcus Garvey. As the torch bearers of these great political giants who fought effortlessly for the advancement of our cause, it is evident that you will create resistance not only from your own community but also from the oppressor as well. You must embrace a concept that calls for a more radical approach towards the uniting of our political, social, economic, values as a people. It’s ok to utilize a “Black Nationalism” approach for confronting our societal which aids in you becoming more intellectually aware of the propaganda and brainwashing that is commonly crafted by the oppressor that lends its hand in making sure we downplay and destroy our own mental elevation.

Marcus Garvey’s life story paint a bigger and more wholistic perspective of being able to “Master the rules of Engagement”, one in which highlights the importance of a more liberated front for people of color. In “Visualizing the Hustle” you must study, learn and craft the Marcus Garvey archetype for bringing civil disobedience and order to your family structure. Start something bigger than yourself. Learn to rely on the power and strength of your own community first, then go out and make inroads for a more collaborative approach towards building a legacy. Never downplay another’s commitment and struggle for a more unified black front. If you are not interested in the advancement of upliftment of your people stay away from those who are. Don’t be a menace to society by always spewing unenthusiastic hate towards the freedom fighters of our time. If this isn’t your fight go and find your fight and in the process remain steadfast to the end.

The Rules of Engagement: A Philosophical Primer

Set 30 Visionary Goals: If you were to Google the word goals you would get about 943 million results as of Apr 15, 2018, which is an indication that the word goal within itself is a powerful concept. But, if you googled the word “Visionary goals” you get just a little bit over 30 million results. Why the disparity? Could this disparity in ideals be related to how the brain processes images? In the brain itself, neurons devoted to visual processing account for hundreds of millions and takes up about 30% of the cortex. It’s logical to see why everyone doesn’t set visionary goals, based on the wiring of one’s own brain function and capability. Whether you set goals or not now is an appropriate time to start directing and making use of this habit. Begin with 30 “Visionary Goals” of a few things you could change the world for the better. The reason 30 appears as a base number is because it represents highly creative and social energies. Setting visionary goals requires the active use of your imagination and the nurturing of your creative energies. In the spirit of “Star Trek” you must go boldly where no man has gone before.

Sample Visionary Goals:

  • Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream Speech”
  • John F. Kennedy’s “Apollo Moon Project”
  • Marcus Garvey’s “Universal Negro Improvement Association”

Count Your Cost: Luke 14:28 says “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it”. Simply stated you need to understand all variables that could work against you successfully bringing your vision into fruition. This is where a Geostrategy comes in handy towards understanding what geographical factors could affect your planning. As with all strategies, counting your costs is concerned with matching your means to an end. You now must think and act like the strategist for your country’s resources, the scope of its goals, the political nature of its geography concerning the 21st century, and the changing technological factors that could affect its spiritual, political, economic, technological and cultural engagement. Counting your cost is a biblical narrative for becoming strategically aware of all the factors that could contribute to the successes or failures of your visionary goals. Struggle involves geostrategy. and the deeper your visionary aims become the more strategic you become in managing your geopolitical interests.

Study Chinese Philosophy: Chinese philosophy refers to many different schools of thought, including Confucianism, Taoism, Legalism, Buddhism, and Mohism. It’s not so much about the philosophy itself but more so about being able to study other philosophical truths, that helps to expand your cultural intelligence. Becoming learned in many schools of thoughts is what Chinese philosophy is all about which dating back to the Waring States period; a period that has been subsequently known as the “Hundred Schools of Thought”. There is plenty of information on the internet about Chinese philosophy not to mention thousands of books on the subject. Allow these great Eastern thinkers and philosophers to guide into a subtler understanding of life. Remember, to understand the rules of engagement you must understand more than your opponent’s thinks you know. Set the bar high for yourself and remain steadfast in your belief in a higher power regardless of where your studies take you.

Utilize Multiple Dimensions of Power: In the 21st century it will be important for you to engage in multiple dimensions of power. These powers are Technology, Communication, Information, Trade & Finance. If possible network with some technologically savvy computer techs in California, start a think tank with information specialists in Brazil, build a trading company in Africa and synthesize a few finance professors to build you an algorithm for your breakthrough invention. As this list of powers isn’t exhaustive by no means, it does give you a fantastic opportunity to synthesize your collective powers and create meaningful relationships for future success. Don’t forget that pain, heartache, confusion and chaos can be utilized as dimensions of power just as easily, for it is through the birthing pangs of life that we grow in stature in our ability to handle our successes as well as our failures.

Remember:

You are not at war with the other races or even nations. The battle is within you and your community first. You leave only to see the problems at hand, create solutions and return to remedy the cancer that plagues the mind of your people. I don’t care how disenfranchised your people may seem to be or ill advised they are. Conquer those lessons first and then begin building a more globalized approach to your visionary and strategic aims. Remember, Marcus Garvey’s only true crime was that he placed Black people above the historical narratives of his day. Never loose sight of the mission towards a more unified black consciousness. As Marcus Garvey puts it “Charity Begins at Home” which explains the importance of building one’s community first plain and simple. Fight through the division only when it is evident that you can create a situation where healing can begin to take place, otherwise you will only make the situation worse by creating more separation and alienating the ones you are trying to the hardest to liberate.

Never ever forget that intelligence rules the world. I cannot stress the enough the importance of education and learning which operates as separate concepts. Take it from someone who has been in and out of different educational system for 26 years of my 37 years of existence. Education is a means by which you embrace knowledge for the advancement of your economic position in the world, whether through vocational trades, collegiate studies, or continuing education courses. Learning on the other hand is something that can help promote the advancement of your social, spiritual, economic, political and scientific ideals into the world. Because you are educated doesn’t mean you are a learned individual. Even after the educational phase of your existence which is basically the apprentice stage of your healing (Unlearning Phase), you must seek to learn about those things that sheds light on the dark shadowy crevices of your mind that holds your true potential. The more you learn the more you will realize that you truly don’t understand anything at all. Let that sink in and allow intelligence to rule your world. Never Stop Learning.

Concluding Thoughts

Mastering the rules of Engagement is truly a liberating thought process that carries the potential to set you free from dogma, doctrine or religious ideals that seeks to destroy your intellectual capabilities. It’s an idea of emancipation that leads to freedom from mental and physical servitude. It’s a figurative language that departs from your daily narrative surrounding freedom, justice and equality, towards a more artistic approach to life as a visionary whose frames of reference can lead to mental liberation and economic freedom. It’s important to know who you are, where you are going and how you plan on getting there. You must imagine and utilize your artistic processes to perceive the world around you. Mastering the rules of Engagement is a metaphor for perceiving a world that works for the subsequent generations to come. A world that is full of ambition, hope and unity and one that allows the artist to be free.