During my radio career, I spent a lot of my time in the South. From the bright lights and beautiful sounds of Music City USA, Nashville Tennessee, to the beautiful coastal towns of North Carolina, the South has taught me a lot. I learned 15 different types of ways to make barbecue, and also learned the importance of taking life as it comes.
Relaxation is in every fiber of the South. People seem to be a little bit more polite, a little bit more patient, and a lot more at ease. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hustle and bustle of my native Philadelphia, but it’s in the South that I learned to truly relax.
One of the greatest lessons I learned while living in the South came in the summer of 2005. Houston had a grip on the music industry, and leading the charge was a man named Mike Jones. My favorite Mike Jones single is entitled “Back Then They Didn’t Want Me, Now I’m Hot They All on Me”. Songs like this had been made before, like Biz Markie’s “The Vapors”, but “Back Then” really resonated with me.
I’ve had a lot of trials and tribulations in my career; in my life for that matter! I’ve been used, abused, misunderstood, and unfairly characterized. No matter how far I’ve been down, always manage to get back to. One thing always remains the same: people who thought I was down and therefore useless, always found a way to come back around when success decided to shine on me once again. Back then they didn’t want me, now I’m hot they all on me… Again!
I am a true believer that most people can’t help themselves: everyone wants to be associated with a “winner”, but no one wants to be in your corner when you’ve lost the championship. There’s a reason that Don King decided to go to Buster Douglas’s corner when he beat Mike Tyson for the championship. There’s a reason that so many people or Floyd Mayweather Junior and exclaimed That they’re with the “Money Team”. After all, Floyd is undefeated.
There’s an old adage that says he who laughs last laughs best. Muhammad Ali is regarded as the greatest heavyweight champion who ever lived. There are those who tried to dispute this claim, but what he did for the sport of boxing is unparalleled. It’s an actual fact that there are more books written about Muhammad Ali than there are about Jesus Christ.
You see, it doesn’t matter if you’re undefeated, because it’s about the entire story. Ali was a champion in and out of the ring. His humanitarian work can’t be discounted. By that same token, you can’t be discounted by your failures. Your successes are shamefully important and they need to be celebrated. No one’s story is completely great, and no one’s story is completely tragic. A book would be boring if everything in it was bad, or everything in it was totally good. It’s the journey that makes the story compelling. Scrooge wouldn’t be half as interesting, if we didn’t take a peek into who he used to be, and the things that drove him to become a miserly old man. His redemption and transformation at the end that make “A Christmas Carol” a time-honored classic.
I believe you have the potential to be a time-honored classic. Live your story, not your limitations. If there are people in your life who are not on the support you when you’re down, they have absolutely no right to be anywhere near you when you’re up. Snoop Dogg says in one of his songs, “everybody’s got their cups, but they ain’t chipped in!” How can people benefit from your successes, when they didn’t invest in your growth?
You deserve better than to have people act like fair weather friends. I’m a big believer in freedom. I believe you should allow people to have the freedom to feel any way they want to feel about you. I also believe that you should allow yourself the freedom to be free of their feelings. Focus on those who are focused on you, your needs, and your desires. Let everyone else live with the regret that they had the chance to support you in your darkness, and have no place to bask in your light.
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