What Are You Doing With Your Life?

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Comparison is the Thief of Joy.


Here’s an example.

OK—so I just bought a new car—I mean it’s used, but it’s new to me. 

After months of test driving cars, renting cars and being without my own personal vehicle, I found the car that I feel is the best value for me.  Lots of room, a bit of style and flare, great performance and fairly good on gas.  However, once I started driving around town, it’s as if every other car is identical to mine!  That feeling of exclusivity that I felt at the dealership quickly went out the window.

Then, I started second guessing my actual car selection.

Can you believe that?  You mean the car I researched, test drove, and was on cloud 9 about (not to mention not even having a car) my new car and now I’m more envious of what others have? 

It’s ridiculous and stupid.

But then, there are times you might choose to compare yourself to others, and it can bring you to a sobering reality and gut check—exactly are you doing with your life?

I find myself asking this question…as I gloss over the relatively short life of Ermias Joseph Asghedom.

You might know him better as Nipsey Hussle.

While he died a horrific death, we won’t delve in to the graphic details of how and why his life ended. But let’s just look at a short list of his accomplishments:

  • Spearheaded the effort to forge a truce between the Crips and Bloods, notable gang rivals in Los Angeles.
  • Revitalized World on Wheels, a popular Los Angeles area roller skating rink that had been closed for years, now serves the community once again.
  • Along with his brother, he founded, “The Marathon Clothing,” a very popular retail clothing store, on West Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard.  He then purchased the entire strip mall area and employed ex-cons to work the shops in various capacities.
  • Spearheaded, “Destination Crenshaw”, with other community investors, which is a museum honoring artistic achievements by African Americans, hoping to inspire the creativity of that community.
  • Along with other investors, launched a co-working space in South Central Los Angeles called Vector90 which provides a place for youth to take classes in science, technology and mathematics.
  • Became a champion for healthy eating which leads to longevity of life. And he spoke out about it very boldly.
  • Spoke regularly at elementary schools and offered up insights on personal excellence and the importance of education.
  • Worked with community leaders and organizers locally, regionally and nationally to end black on black violence, and the building up of African-American self-esteem, particularly in children.
  • Was a dedicated father and husband—and very much involved with his family.
  • Oh yeah, he’s also a recording artist and was nominated for a Grammy and has recorded with some of the most prolific recording artists in Hip Hop.

And this doesn’t cover what he had in the pipeline.  He was set to work with the LAPD to bring the police force and gang violence to a screeching halt.

Did I mention that he was only 33 years old?

I know a lot has been said and done honoring Nipsey Hussle’s legacy.  We will continue to mourn his loss for an unmeasured amount of time.  But if his death doesn’t inspire or spark a change in us, a real call to action about changing our surroundings, what’s the point?

Typically we use this platform to explore the world of dating, love, marriage, and the pursuit of intimate relationships.  And we still will.  But today we are asking you—whatever age you are, what can you do to make a difference in your community and/or in someone’s life?  What level of sacrifice are you willing to make to help someone along who could benefit from your effort to support them?  What can we stop complaining about and simply become the solution?

The juxtaposition of Nipsey Hussle’s life and our lives should be compared. We can all do a little bit more.  No need to have the cameras on you when you are making a difference.  We will know that you’re doing your best because we will notice gradual and sustainable changes in our communities.

This quotation, from Theodore Roosevelt, argues that comparing your work, your life, or whatever else will only serve to make you unhappy. Why? Because when you compare yourself to others, you know all the dirty details of your situation or the problems with what you’ve created but only the seemingly positive surface information about them or their work. So don’t hold yourself up to some outside vague standard of greatness. Judge your work by your principles and leave comparison out of the equation.


Photo Credit: GQ Magazine

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