You’ll never walk into the gym and hear someone say, “You should do something easy today.” But after ten years of training, I think embracing slow and easy gains is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.
In fact, this lesson applies to most things in life. It comes down to the …
Wow. 100 lbs gains in two years by just adding a (“a” as in ONE) pound a week? When you put it that way…damn the power of those small gains really adds up. Anybody want to try this?
Seriously… Well this whole life thing still isn’t where I’d want it to be, but nobody said it would be easy. Highlights of last year to now:
Got a steady job…in sales. Not what I had in mind, but it pays the bills *ahem* student loans for now
Turned another year older…yikes!
So did my baby cousin. I still try to picture him as a baby and convince him as such to cope with the previously mentioned point
Grampa had a stroke. I’m thankful he made it and had a full recovery, but he needs to change his lifestyle and diet
Still have yet to see my mom and sister again. Someday.
Please Lawd don’t let this year go to waste like 2013. I paid for my mistakes. I’m done confessing. Must get out of this hole. Must get back on track to achieve whatever it was I was meant to do in this world.
As most of you already know, yesterday I discovered that a large amount of my photographs were used without permission by DKNY in a Bangkok window display.
In response, I publicly asked DKNY to make a $100,000 donation in my name to the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA, so that deserving kids could go to Summer Camp.
They made a $25,000 donation in my name. That really made me happy. I went to bed last night thinking about all the kids who’d be going to summer camp.
But then I started thinking about the kids who wouldn’t be going to summer camp. And I thought: “You know what, wouldn’t it be awesome (and fun) if we made a $75,000 donation?” That way, a bunch more kids could go to summer camp!
So help HONY make a $75,000 donation to the YMCA. That would bring the grand total to $100,000 and provide 300 deserving kids with an entire two weeks of summer camp. These camps give kids such a wonderful, affirming experience. For certain kids, from certain neighborhoods, it could very well be the best two weeks of their life.
Unfortunately, I can’t afford to give goodies this time. Our Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser tapped me out. But I think there’s enough heart in this group to raise the full $75,000. I’m really counting pennies right now, but I’m going to throw in $100 myself.
Because, fuck it, when you’re right, you’re right.
This applies everywhere in life, but specifically I’m talking organization settings/ office politics. If you know you have a better grasp an issue or situation, then stand up and advocate your superior insight—yes, superior (Ain’t nobody got time to be humble).
I hate when people try to re-invent the wheel by wasting time and effort brainstorming solutions even when I point out solid approaches are already out there. The “R&D,” so to speak, has already been done by others, and all my group has to do is replicate the method (with minor tweaks). Conversely, I also hate—I realize I have a lot of hatred—when people repeat the same failed methods, as if expecting a different result, and then hold unnecessarily long and unfocused meetings wondering why they failed—like the first five times.
This is why groups have officers/committees to deal with specific functions, but sometimes: a) these people aren’t putting in enough work, or b) you have better ideas than they do. I’m not claiming a monopoly on solutions, but damn, I can’t help it if I know my shit because I did some research and think with an eye on both the big picture and the details. Even when the group agrees with your ideas, it’s important to get their full support, just as each of them would like with their great ideas. When they pay lip service to your plan and only offer half-assed support in its implementation, I call it half-assedness. And then folks wonder why I get upset.
(A common reason why the above dilemmas occur is poor external networking and administrative record-keeping; how would people know what worked and what didn’t if they don’t have reliable access to any records, or don’t know who to talk to on the outside? This stuff is right up my alley, but this is for another discussion.)
*Le sigh* I’ve been one for 6 months, but walking through campus yesterday in order to pick up my diploma really made that reality hit home. And I have little else to show for it at the moment. The next thing isn’t a ‘thing’ yet. But one grand opportunity seems to have presented itself, however it would mean a big commitment, and working harder than I ever have before to achieve it. That is a long ways off, though, and I need a short/medium term job until then. The search continues…
Sometimes I feel like my mind has been rotting since graduating (with my creativity already suffering long ago), and that I’m not living so much as existing.
Yeah, I may have been more proactive to prevent this before I left school, but suffice to say that the recurring issue surrounding a certain dirt bag had jolted me off my focus for the last two years. Not that I’m trying to abandon any responsibility for where I’m at or where I’m headed, but things aren’t how I ideally imagined them to be, and now I’m trying to snap out of my shell-shock/stupor and set out on a path—any, as long as it takes me far away from this stagnant place, to adventure, the horizon, toward something worthwhile. [Follow up later.]
Dear Ann Coulter of the Day: After Ann Coulter referred to President Obama as a retard in a tweet during Monday night’s presidential debate, Special Olympics athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens penned her this open letter:
Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are – and much, much more.
After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.
I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.
Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.
No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.
Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.
A friend you haven’t made yet, John Franklin Stephens Global
Messenger Special Olympics Virginia
I really gotta stop messing around and needlessly scrolling through Facebook/ social media—and web surfing in general. Yeah, it’s nice seeing what people are up to, and I read my news from links on Twitter, but overall the Internets have been a major distraction from productive activities and have jacked up my sleep patterns, so I need to focus on these until I can find a balance. As one famous marine put it, “You had best square your ass away and start shitting me Tiffany cuff links…”
I’m gonna try to start limiting myself to 15 minutes a day on Facebook to start with, then hopefully reduce to twice a week, then who knows? maybe try giving it up for two weeks at a time? I know this isn’t the first time I’ve posted about trying to lead a more productive/ meaningful daily life, but hey, work with me here.