Handling Negativity

The only negativity we have in our lives we create.

I can say that for certain because I have been positive for my whole life. Optimistic, with the ability to take any advice, insult, or negativity and overpower it with a smile and a genuine desire to see past the bad and look for the good.

But for the past year, I’ve seen the other side.

I began shifting towards feeding my insecurities instead of feeding my ambitions.

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It didn’t happen overnight. It isn’t as simple as heartbreak that makes you wake up the next day angry, or a miracle that makes us wake up happy. It’s a slow change in behavior that creeps into your life that without our permission we feed.

Owning our negativity should humble us and open us up to vulnerability. Sometimes we’re just not ready to open up. Maybe deep down we think people are against us but even deeper down we are prepared for a battle that isn’t coming.

In order to handle negativity, we have to see where it comes from.

Asking what we’re lacking in our lives will answer a lot of questions but takes a lot of looking in the mirror. Whats missing from the holes that we’re filling with negativity? Once we see what’s missing, are we ready to fill them again?

Our negativity doesn’t define who we are. Let’s prove our negativity wrong and feed the good wolf.

When you find yourself being negative, check yourself. No one person or thing will change you unless you fully understand you need to change yourself. Your mind will justify the anger so watch out for that. It can result in permanent residence in your head.

What brings you joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth? Can you do a better job of feeding the right wolf?

 

What Society Thinks VS. Who He is to Me 

I wrote this about a year before my dad died. I was going to change this so that it is past tense since now he is gone now. I think the message is even more clear as you read below how much help people like my dad really need before they are gone too and writing is the only thing that keeps another broken heart going. I have been told I don’t know how to ask for help. But that doesn’t mean that inside I was literally exhausted inside begging and screaming for something to make everything a little bit easier.

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I looked people in the eyes and they ask, “How is your dad?” and it made me a little bit angry because it’s as if I could paint it black and white. Not good was never enough to describe how “not good” it was. And so even though sometimes I’d lie and say, he’s doing okay now, I knew I was always one call away from losing him. It made me angry because no matter what my answer was it wouldn’t change how much that person understood. What I really wanted was someone to shake me and say, “Let’s go see your dad. I want to feel your pain.”

An addict needs to want help before they can get help. My dad was begging for help. Unfortunately, he thought the only help he deserved was to stop being a burden to the world.

Here’s My Dad What Society Thinks vs. Who He is To Me

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For the first 9 months of 2016, the number of confirmed cases of unintentional opioid overdose deaths was 1,005, with an estimated additional 392 to 470 deaths.

Since Massachusetts began the pilot program seven years ago, there have been more than 2,500 reported overdose reversals.

My dad counts for 4 of those 2,500 reported

He doesn’t even know that I know that, but if it weren’t for Narcan, I would have already buried him.

In 1992, my dad was in prison for crimes he committed under the influence

In 2007 my dad was on the front page of the local newspaper for assault

In 2010 my dad was sentenced to prison for kidnapping, assault, and burglary

In 2016 my dad was released and overdosed 4 times

What does the future hold for my dad?

My dad, by society label, is a criminal

But this is who my dad is to me

The man who wrote me a letter every week to tell me how much he loved me.

The man who taught me how to ride a bike, to ice-skate, to play softball, and to stick up for myself.

And for the things he couldn’t teach me, he made sure someone did.

Singing lessons, dance lessons, math tutors, and appointments at makeup salons to learn the right way to do makeup.

The man that laminated every award I won in school and kept them in a book.

The man that took me to a Britney Spears, Shakira, Missy Elliott and Beyonce concert.

The man who cemented a basketball court in our backyard because I wanted to learn to play but didn’t want to join the team.

The man who sat by my bedside all night and held my hand saying every single great quality I had when my first boyfriend broke my heart.

The man that would come to my high school and leave little notes and flowers in my car window to let me know he cares.

The man that cried the first time he saw me in a prom dress.

My dad has always been my hero. He is just too sick for us to appreciate that together.

The two sides of my dad made me completely aware of people struggling with identity. No one is completely evil. No one deserves to be treated by what they are labeled as. If it weren’t for my dad, I wouldn’t love as hard, or be as compassionate to those in need, or an understanding to those with a broken past.

Some could say my dad is an immigrant who deserves to be deported. But I say my dad is the light of my life, my reason for being, and the only person to keep me strong when I want to give up.

Addiction is an issue that needs extreme attention, especially for kids that are trying to understand their parents’ disease as I struggled to do for so many years. I was fortunate that my dad can fight so hard to always get back on his feet, but I know there are addicts that can’t. It’s not their fault and as a child of an addict, I need to be the voice to say we can we will and we have learned to love and understand those with addiction.

If you know a parent that is struggling with addiction or a child that is witnessing addiction and needs help, please let them know I am their voice, that I am there for them, and that I am always here to talk.


My dad was my best friend and to me- a teddy bear. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know what the solution is, but I know that along with everyone else we’re begging for a different outcome. It’d be such an honor in my dad’s name that instead of children like me saying my dad will either end up in prison or dead, can really have high hopes on saying that my dad will be okay.

Maybe our way of looking at addiction is wrong.

From my dad’s last phone call you can hear his fear of being put back in prison. It was worse than death. And everyone knew he didn’t need prison to help him change his ways. It’s just not a solution. My dad made his bad decisions when using drugs- not because he was a bad person.

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The Big Misconceptions About Your Career

Entering the ‘real world’ is something we all fear. Whether you go straight from high school or attend college, there’s an unsettling feeling of what your career should look like and I think it’s important to address the misconceptions society has us believing while we’re in this transition.

Growing up we’re told to go to school so we can get a ‘good career’ but no one really tells us why we want a good job and what that actually looks like. Is it for the money? For the title? For the benefits? To go through everyday waiting for early retirement? It doesn’t strike us that the amount we make or the title we have doesn’t define a successful career until we’re struggling to get out of bed every morning to make the commute to work.  Lets take a look at some misconceptions about your career.

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The misconceptions about your career.

  • The myth about school vs. career: School is for learning and a career is for applying what you learned. False. You’ll continue to learn every step of the way and we’ll be doing new things throughout our entire lives.  If you’ve fallen into the trap of thinking you’re career is meant to be a showcase of all you’ve already known you’re going to stress out and feel like a failure (which you’re not). School is great for learning theory and getting familiar with terminology in your career path but it’s not going to tell you exactly what to do in a high stress environment where a decision needs to be made now. You’ll start to see that a career ties very closely to ethics and morals. You’ll also begin to see that even our leaders don’t have all the answers. It’s about offering your opinion with a fresh set of eyes, seeing things differently, and caring about learning, not about how much more you know than the next person.
  • You have to love what you do: It’s okay to not love what you do and still be happy in your career. Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s a great concept but I really wish it was never said. Take it from Jordan Harbinger, creator of The Art of Charm podcast who explains that with every job you have you’re going to have parts that you don’t love. If you love knitting blankets and want to make it your career that’s great but you can’t forget that you’ll need to set up an online store, manage the financials, manage distribution, and find a market that sees your product. Now all of a sudden you only have a few hours out of your day to do the actual knitting and suddenly you’re a businessman or woman. Along with whatever you love to do, you’ll always have one or two day to day tasks that make having your dream job less appealing than you thought it’d be. Even if you want to be a traveling musician it takes a lot of logistics and a lot of landing gigs. It comes with rejection and unless you have a lot of money from the start to handle the backend planning, you’re going to have to face these kinds of obstacles. Maybe never working a day in your life sounds appealing because you’re lazy. No matter what job you have it will at some point or another feel like hard work.
  • Once we’re in the real world people are mature: In high school I always heard students who didn’t get along with teachers and would complain that once they were in the working world they wouldn’t have to deal with ‘drama’. I wish I had heard a teacher lay down the facts that the ‘real world’ has just as much drama and definitely even more than high school or college. Now instead a group project weighing down your grade point average it can be the deciding factor of whether you keep your job or not. Maturity doesn’t come with age, it comes with learning from experiences. And you can’t force those experiences upon people. You have to learn how to clearly and effectively communicate what you need from others in order to do your job the best way. You’ll always have to deal with people and sometimes it’s not easy so it’s really important to make it your responsibility to take ownership for whatever it is needs to be done and let there be no excuses.
  • Your job title defines your experience: This just simply isn’t true. Your job title can say manager, director, executive… whatever you want it to say, but if you don’t feel challenged, appreciated, or inspired you’ll notice it’s really just not enough to get you out of bed every morning. A title will sound so appealing when you start your career, but if the importance of your work doesn’t outweigh what your title implies you do, you’ll be left feeling confused and frustrated.
  • Be the best, make the most money: When you decide your goal is to move up the ladder in your job market or make more money it is the beginning of a rat race. Being better than your fellow employer becomes the focus in order for you to be better and make more money. It’s great to be ambitious and want to be the best, but it can definitely be dangerous if you aren’t careful. Watch the movie Minimalism and you’ll see multiple cases where climbing to the top led some very successful people into a depression. We can blame our society for telling us that our social status (job title and how much we make) can define our happiness. When we focus on these two things we’re doing more harm to ourselves and our fellow employers. We’re no longer supporting others and we’re no longer focusing on making an impact in life. We’re just trying to make more money than the other person and getting that new position that we actually start to lose our values. Money and power will ultimately not make us feel accomplished at the end of our life. If along the way we were helping others, making memories, and creating long lasting relationships, then we’d be satisfied. The end goal should pertain to helping others and the money and power will come to you. Make the end goal money and power and you’ll realize you’ve hurt people along the way.
  • You’re on your own: Once you’re out of school you’re on your own and you no longer have people to support you. That’s absolutely not true. No matter what your career is the greatest professionals are going to want to teach you what they know and help you be successful. A smart professional knows that in order to grow you must surround yourself with people who are smarter. In order to become smarter you must share the knowledge and allow others to grow and flourish. You’ll notice that the most successful leaders who are noticeably happy are those who take the time to teach others and don’t think they know everything. They’ll listen to your ideas and always offer great advice for improvement without impeding on your personal beliefs.

Your career is as much about your morality as it is about your skills. If your job doesn’t give you a sense of purpose, you could end up chasing money and power and wake up with a big bank account and an empty feeling of unhappiness. You’ve got this.

What have you learned from the expectations vs. reality of having a career? Please share in the comments below!

The Wrong Approach to Heroin Addiction

We are taking the wrong approach on the heroin solution. As our Government begins to become aware of the heroin epidemic that has swept America our heroin solution is all wrong. This disease continues to kill precious lives and imprison innocent humans and we still haven’t gotten the solution OR the problem right. Right now our government addresses addiction as the problem and sobriety as the solution. As with any disease you’ll come across, the side effects are more daunting and damaging than the original cause. The cause is the drugs but the problem isn’t addiction. The problem is the internal, mental, and physical ailments that face our loved ones in each sober moment the addict faces. To send a recovering addict to a halfway house or a sober house or prison is like putting a bandaid on a wound. An addict doesn’t need to be sequestered and put among other people that they are now categorized as in society. You go to prison you are a bad person who can’t contribute to society. You go to a halfway house you are an addict who needs help by being isolated.

I’d like to call out the weaknesses of this point before I move on because I want you to realize that I’m not naive to a few things. One, the addict has to want to get sober on their own. Two, each situation is different and this can’t be applied to every situation. Sometimes there are bad people that do drugs. But n0t all drug addicts are bad people and that is my point. In fact- most people I know struggling with addiction had an amazing life and were extremely kind in a sober state of mind.

In order to change the heroin epidemic our solution needs to be less black and white- we can’t just expect an addict to get sober and move on. We need to look into the day to day struggles that an addict faces from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed and even what they dream about. Have you ever thought about what an addict must feel like when they are sober? Have you ever had a dream where you do something awful and you wake up and can’t believe that you’d ever think that way? What if you woke up and it was reality? That is what an addict feels like when they become sober.

The physical health issues and mental health issues that arise from addiction are way worse than the struggle of staying sober. Even with the pounding impulse to use, nothing is worse than feeling like a dirty, worthless failure to the ones you love and cherish most. And to think you feel like it is out of your control is unbearable. Every time I talk to my dad he doesn’t wallow in the fear of using again. He cries and begs to escape himself. To hear your best friend, your parent, and your idol tell you everyday he wants to kill himself to escape the pain is way worse than hearing that he craves a high. Because it’s no longer the high he wants. He just wants to not feel the pain he is the cause of. He sees himself as a monster and although I don’t view him as a monster, society tells him he’s a monster. Society tells him he can go to a sober house, but he’ll never have a job, he’ll never be able to vote, he’ll never live the American dream that he moved here for, from the Soviet Union. 

So do we really want to fix the problem and stand by our loved ones? Do we want to put in the time to give a bit of sympathy? Or do we want to continue to tell ourselves that if every heroin addict was sober there wouldn’t be an epidemic anymore?

Below is a video I made on what an addict is dealing with, how to build relationships with a loved one that is an addict, and how our health and the addicts health can both be at a stable place.

Join my Facebook group I love someone suffering from a heroin/narcotic addiction here.

Visit my website on Rising Hope, my vision for a non-profit for managing relationships with addiction here.

If you have a loved one struggling with addiction and need someone to talk to I’m always here. Email lolbinsky@outlook.com.

Are All Drug Addicts Failures?

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I recently listened to a TED talk called, “A kinder gentler philosophy of success,” by Alain de Botton. He talked about our modern ideas of success and failure. He talked about our governments ideal view of meritocracy and what stuck with me was the hidden validation that meritocracy is associated with.

Meritocracy Governance by elites who deserve to wield power because they possess education and skills. On one hand this is great. It means that people that work hard, are charismatic, and who try really, really hard will get ahead in life and therefore be successful. They deserve to be successful because of their merit. But then when we look at the other end of the spectrum this means we also believe that people who can’t work as hard, who may have made mistakes in their lives are unsuccessful and deserve to be unsuccessful. But as compassionate people who understand that we all have hardships and mental and physical ailments, merit is a dangerous way to judge success.

Success is favored by prosperity of wealth and job status in our society, and when we’re on a path where that path doesn’t look attainable, it’s very easy to spiral continually downward. And then society looks down upon us. And instead of reminding ourselves that we are good people who have more to be proud of than a status, we look down on ourselves just as harshly if not more harshly than society does to us. And something to pay close attention to is not to blame ‘society’. It’s each and every one of us. Whether it’s consciously or not, it should be our duty to stop asking others what they do, or judge them by what car they drive. We have to take the blame for ourselves.

Once someone is looked down upon and adapts the psychology that they can’t be successful and aren’t successful, we begin to have self-doubt, a lack of confidence, and sometimes more severe mental stresses including depression.

So what is success? Sometimes we can go through our whole lives without realizing what success is to us because we’re too worried about what success is to society. We are told we’re in school to get an education, but why? To get a job, have a family, and to one day retire and live comfortably. So first of all we can rule out this form of success in relation to happiness right away because you must know at least one person who is well on their way to that lifestyle but they aren’t happy. Second of all, education is so much more than to get a job but we don’t realize that till later in life. Third of all, this is so broad a vision that it’s literally impossible to feel this success. You’ll be chasing it till the day you die because we aren’t to the point in technology where we can view our lives from a third-person view and say, yeah I’m successful as I review it from a different perspective. We live out everyday and every moment and everyday we’re getting closer to that house, that job, that family… it won’t be enough.You should have your own vision of success and it should be as specific to you as you can make it. Step away from what people expect and really think about it. Sometimes it can be something that you can accomplish everyday and eventually all those little successes turn into a lifetime of happiness.

Let me tell you about my altered (shortened) view of success and then I’ll get into if drug addicts can be successful. As most of you know I work in marketing remotely for a fitness company called Sworkit. We are a fitness app rated in highest regards by ACSM and we were given the largest tech deal by Shark Tank in February of 2016. We only have 6 people on our team but we have 24 million downloads. I live decently. I have a beautiful apartment and I have a wonderful education that I’m very fortunate to have.

So am I successful to you? Now do I consider myself successful? I feel successful when I am talking to someone that has never heard of the app and they tell me that this could really help them to exercise because they are cautious about working out in front of other people. I feel successful when someone tells me they lost weight using the app and they continue to check in with me to share their progress because they know I care. I feel successful when I make someone on my team’s life easier by taking on a project and taking it off their shoulders.

If you think success stops from the day one of getting your dream job you’re going to be in for a consequently up and down rollercoaster of a ride in life. Next you’ll chase that promotion and the next one and the next.

Notice how I correlated success with my career instantly? You probably didn’t even think twice about that did you? Because that is what we’re taught to believe. Success is your career. I also listened to another amazing TED talk by David Brooks. He asked the question, are you living for your resume or your eulogy (seeking connection, community, and love)? So what are you living for? Have you thought of this? Have you found the balance of what you’re living for? If you haven’t rethink your view of success. Think of other ways in which success is possible.

My long-term die-hard vision of success is to tell my family’s story. It’d be a successful life to tell how my dad and mom taught me to always be kind, to not judge others, to hold myself responsible for every action I take, and to get through any hardship that comes my way and to do it with honesty. I want to help people to see a different side of addiction and to never let my dad’s disease live in vain. I also want to raise a family and carry on the love my family has given to me to my kids.

I want to tell the true beauty of living with two parents that love you harder than anything in life all while struggling with addiction, mental and physical diseases, and a lifetime of hardships. My parents are unfairly judged by society as unsuccessful.

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Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

My parents are the most successful people you’ll ever meet.

They have filled my heart and my whole being with so much love and have sacrificed every last ounce of their being to love me. Even on my darkest days and even if I did something horrific I know they’d go to battle for me.

I think any parent would agree that for their child to feel the love that I feel from them, it’d be the greatest success of their lives.

Yes drug addicts can be successful. Maybe my dad will never be a 6-figure doctor and maybe he’s not on the cover of the newspaper for something to brag about, but there’s nothing you can do or say to take away that my dad is the most loving parent who would walk across the planet if I said I needed him. He deserves to feel that success. He might not ever be looked at by society by this success, but it’s the most important one we’re all living for as parents.

Does Drug Addiction Make People Failures?

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I recently listened to a TED talk called, “A kinder gentler philosophy of success,” by Alain de Botton. He talked about our modern ideas of success and failure. He talked about our governments ideal view of meritocracy and what stuck with me was the hidden validation that meritocracy is associated with.

Meritocracy Governance by elites who deserve to wield power because they possess education and skills. On one hand this is great. It means that people that work hard, are charismatic, and who try really, really hard will get ahead in life and therefore be successful. They deserve to be successful because of their merit. But then when we look at the other end of the spectrum this means we also believe that people who can’t work as hard, who may have made mistakes in their lives are unsuccessful and deserve to be unsuccessful. But as compassionate people who understand that we all have hardships and mental and physical ailments, merit is a dangerous way to judge success.

Success is favored by prosperity of wealth and job status in our society, and when we’re on a path where that path doesn’t look attainable, it’s very easy to spiral continually downward. And then society looks down upon us. And instead of reminding ourselves that we are good people who have more to be proud of than a status, we look down on ourselves just as harshly if not more harshly than society does to us. And something to pay close attention to is not to blame ‘society’. It’s each and every one of us. Whether it’s consciously or not, it should be our duty to stop asking others what they do, or judge them by what car they drive. We have to take the blame for ourselves.

Once someone is looked down upon and adapts the psychology that they can’t be successful and aren’t successful, we begin to have self-doubt, a lack of confidence, and sometimes more severe mental stresses including depression.

So what is success? Sometimes we can go through our whole lives without realizing what success is to us because we’re too worried about what success is to society. We are told we’re in school to get an education, but why? To get a job, have a family, and to one day retire and live comfortably. So first of all we can rule out this form of success in relation to happiness right away because you must know at least one person who is well on their way to that lifestyle but they aren’t happy. Second of all, education is so much more than to get a job but we don’t realize that till later in life. Third of all, this is so broad a vision that it’s literally impossible to feel this success. You’ll be chasing it till the day you die because we aren’t to the point in technology where we can view our lives from a third-person view and say, yeah I’m successful as I review it from a different perspective. We live out everyday and every moment and everyday we’re getting closer to that house, that job, that family… it won’t be enough.You should have your own vision of success and it should be as specific to you as you can make it. Step away from what people expect and really think about it. Sometimes it can be something that you can accomplish everyday and eventually all those little successes turn into a lifetime of happiness.

Let me tell you about my altered (shortened) view of success and then I’ll get into if drug addicts can be successful. As most of you know I work in marketing remotely for a fitness company called Sworkit. We are a fitness app rated in highest regards by ACSM and we were given the largest tech deal by Shark Tank in February of 2016. We only have 6 people on our team but we have 24 million downloads. I live decently. I have a beautiful apartment and I have a wonderful education that I’m very fortunate to have.

So am I successful to you? Now do I consider myself successful? I feel successful when I am talking to someone that has never heard of the app and they tell me that this could really help them to exercise because they are cautious about working out in front of other people. I feel successful when someone tells me they lost weight using the app and they continue to check in with me to share their progress because they know I care. I feel successful when I make someone on my team’s life easier by taking on a project and taking it off their shoulders.

If you think success stops from the day one of getting your dream job you’re going to be in for a consequently up and down rollercoaster of a ride in life. Next you’ll chase that promotion and the next one and the next.

Notice how I correlated success with my career instantly? You probably didn’t even think twice about that did you? Because that is what we’re taught to believe. Success is your career. I also listened to another amazing TED talk by David Brooks. He asked the question, are you living for your resume or your eulogy (seeking connection, community, and love)? So what are you living for? Have you thought of this? Have you found the balance of what you’re living for? If you haven’t rethink your view of success. Think of other ways in which success is possible.

My long-term die-hard vision of success is to tell my family’s story. It’d be a successful life to tell how my dad and mom taught me to always be kind, to not judge others, to hold myself responsible for every action I take, and to get through any hardship that comes my way and to do it with honesty. I want to help people to see a different side of addiction and to never let my dad’s disease live in vain. I also want to raise a family and carry on the love my family has given to me to my kids.

I want to tell the true beauty of living with two parents that love you harder than anything in life all while struggling with addiction, mental and physical diseases, and a lifetime of hardships. My parents are unfairly judged by society as unsuccessful.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

My parents are the most successful people you’ll ever meet.

They have filled my heart and my whole being with so much love and have sacrificed every last ounce of their being to love me. Even on my darkest days and even if I did something horrific I know they’d go to battle for me.

I think any parent would agree that for their child to feel the love that I feel from them, it’d be the greatest success of their lives.

Yes drug addicts can be successful. Maybe my dad will never be a 6-figure doctor and maybe he’s not on the cover of the newspaper for something to brag about, but there’s nothing you can do or say to take away that my dad is the most loving parent who would walk across the planet if I said I needed him. He deserves to feel that success. He might not ever be looked at by society by this success, but it’s the most important one we’re all living for as parents.

Never Forget Where You Come From

“So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty”

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I come from a mother and father that engrained compassion and love so strongly into my whole being that it shines through and touches those around me. I love so deeply and I care so much about creating meaning in every situation. I work extremely hard and don’t turn any challenge away. I am proud of who I am and I know how I deserve to be treated. I owe that to them.

My parents are both struggling so hard in life and yet they always seem to find a way to make it through. Although I am so scared every day that I will lose them, to the point that sometimes I push them away, I still feel a love and bond with them even when we go weeks without talking.

No matter what my dad and mom are going through they fight through the darkness and always find a way to find the light by me. Ask anyone who knows my parent’s sickness and they will tell you that I am what keeps them alive. It’s a hard thing to swallow as I am trying to keep improving myself and knowing that I can’t help everyone. It’s overwhelming to know that you simply being is what drives people to carry on. I don’t think I deserve the honor but I think there is a purpose for my parent’s strength.

1/19 7:58AM “It was so good to hear from You. You make me want to do good and do something good with myself. I adore you, there is no better anything about anyone than You . God Bless, Daddy”

On my way to DC for a business trip, I was talking to someone at the airport and the last thing he said to me was you should never forget where you come from. It wasn’t the first time I heard this, but it was a quick reminder that I have a true, meaningful story of where I come from. If only he knew how purposeful my life feels because of who my parents are and how they raised me. I wrote a blog post on my favorite things about my parents you can check out.

 

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No matter where you end up: in riches or rags, in fame or alone, find fulfillment in who you were raised to be. That’ll always be the testament of your stability.