Morning Cup of Joe – A Perfect Life

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There is a wealthy business man who lives a lavish lifestyle. He is able to buy what he desires, travels where he wants at his leisure and owns the very best in tailored clothes, exquisite jewels and expensive cars. He enjoys the best tables at the finest restaurants wherever he is. His home looks more like an apartment complex boasting countless rooms and the roof is specially designed to withhold the weight of his helicopter. To many, this man seems to have it all. To many more, it seems as if his life is absolutely perfect.

There is a man who works two different jobs seven days a week attempting to put his five children through school. This man wears a uniform to both of his manufacturing jobs. He does not own a fancy house and doesn’t even own a car. He travels to work by bus which at times he misses because he may have to work overtime at one of his jobs. The place where he and his children call home is a one bedroom apartment where he sleeps on the floor while his children share the only bed in the entire place. Their meals are scarce yet they manage to eat them together.

If I asked you which life you would rather live, many of you would undoubtedly choose the person in the first story. What you don’t understand is that the man in the first story, who seems to have it all, grieves internally because he is unable to have children. The man in the second story, although his life is less glamorous, finds his wealth not in possessions but in the children and family around him. There are people who seem to live the life you dream about yet you never consider the life you are living may be the one others dream about.

If we compare our blessings to others, ours will never seem enough. Never look at another person’s blessings and compare it to yours. We are all uniquely blessed with what we have for a reason. Instead of focusing on what you want, appreciate what you have. Wealth is determined by many factors, determine yours by the love you give and receive rather than the things you have and want.

You will never find true happiness if you are constantly focused on what makes others happy. While I will never discourage you to always work hard to acquire your wants, I especially want you to focus on your needs; which by God’s grace are always met.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Selflessness

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It is my unwavering belief that you have two arms so that you can use one to reach back and bring someone up with you. It is true what they say; it’s lonely at the top but it really doesn’t have to be. Understand that once we have reached a pinnacle in our lives it is imperative that we give back. When we give back, we are essentially positively affecting the life and destiny of an individual. Some people lack the necessary drive, passion and discipline required to succeed. Yet there are far more who simply lack the opportunity.

You are where you are because someone gave you a chance. Someone saw that spark in your eye as you attempted to climb the ladder towards ultimate success and they made a decision to reach out and take a chance on you. You must now pay it forward. By paying it forward, you are choosing to help others who simply lack the opportunity yet possess the characteristics of someone with great potential. Sometimes it takes others to help us discover the greatness hidden within ourselves. Don’t be afraid to take the lead and help those around you discover their greatness, especially if you’ve managed to discover yours.

I strongly believe that if you give someone an opportunity to succeed, they will almost always rise to the occasion. Most people aren’t successful because they don’t seek opportunities where they can be successful. Even when they do, those who can help influence that opportunity seldom risk it on these individuals. Why is that? It’s quite simple. Some people stop chasing their dreams once they’ve reached a red light. We all know that all red lights eventually turn green, yet very few are willing to sit and wait until it does. Simply, they give up once they have reached an impasse. It’s difficult for someone to offer you an opportunity if you are not actively seeking one. Go and get what is rightfully yours.

The only thing most people need to be successful is an opportunity. If you are in a position to offer opportunities to others, take a chance on someone who you normally wouldn’t take a chance on. If you are currently seeking opportunities to be successful, don’t give up until the opportunity you seek presents itself. If you don’t give up, it will inevitably show up.

While success is measured in many ways, I personally measure it by how many people you help get to where they are destined to be.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Living The Dream

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Are you living the life you’ve always dreamed of? Or are you still dreaming? When it comes to happiness and the eminent pursuit of it, one must be intently focused on living their dreams while maintaining an understanding that dreams only come true for those who are brave and/or crazy enough to try to live it. Living the dream is reserved for those who will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to make sure their dreams come true. It is going to take work, hard work but you must be committed at all costs.

While dreaming may be considered a temporary getaway, the life you dream about living is not impossible if you work tirelessly and feverishly to ensure that it does indeed happen. Unfortunately, the test usually comes before the lesson. Simply, if you are committed to accomplishing your goals and dreams, get ready to be tested. Nothing worth having ever came easily. Why would it change now? Dreams only seem impossible to those who aren’t willing to work to make sure they come true. Once you start your journey, if it is meant to be, everything will fall right into place much like a perfect piece to a puzzle.

The greatest difference between living your dreams and dreaming about living is a fraction of a percentage and is primarily based on your own efforts to make that particular dream come true. Contrary to popular belief, living the dream is not only reserved for those who are affluent and have access to resources. Living the dream is a reality that can be yours if you are not afraid of failing and of falling. The Japanese proverb, “fall seven times, stand up eight” speaks directly to this. You must crawl before you can learn to walk. And you must walk before you can learn to fly.

If you are serious about making your dreams come true, simply be committed to finishing everything you start even if there are bumps in the road. Expect a bumpy ride and expect turbulence. Much like an airplane, if you continue to fly and raise your altitude, sooner than later you will reach an altitude above the clouds where you can soar like the eagle you are.

Stop dreaming and start living your dream; the differences between the two are fractional. What are you willing to do and for how long are you willing to do it to ensure your dreams come true? Quitting is not and should never be an option. Your dreams can only come true if you make them come true. Don’t ever stop believing.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Dream the Impossible

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Your future success is based on the work you do in the present. Do you want to know why so many people dream impossible dreams? It’s quite simple actually, how much effort does it take for us to dream? Precisely right; it takes little to no effort to think of grandiose thoughts or create these visions of grandeur. In fact, I encourage it. The problem is; this is where most people stop. They stop at the dream stage and never progress to the next stage; the work stage.

The work stage is where you work to meet your thoughts and/or dreams half-way. I say half-way because thinking of the idea is truly only half of the way there; the second half consists of the work that you must put in towards making this idea a reality. Write down your plan of action. If you don’t answer the “how” in how you are going to make this dream come true, it will be almost impossible to do it. The how is your set of instructions, your directions, your plan of attack. Your plan should be very detailed, precise and leave little room for error.

Today is the day you choose to put that thing you’ve been thinking about to work. That thing or idea is worth absolutely nothing if it’s stuck in your head. You need to share it. You need to release it. You need to believe in it enough to take the risk and see if it will work out; it just might. Much like you, I have tons of ideas that pass through my mind on a daily basis and don’t necessarily act on all of them. However, there are ideas that pop into your head that evens surprises you. When that happens, write it down and start working on creating it in order to share it with the world. We’re waiting.

Having seemingly impossible dreams is much better than having no dreams at all.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Road to Success

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Problems are actually opportunities in disguise. It is critically important that you start to recognize the opportunity in your problems. Whatever the issue, you certainly cannot compare it to the end of the world. Yes, the end of the world is a bit drastic but compared to that, do you really have any problems? I’ll answer for you; no, you truly don’t. The opportunity that inevitably arises from overcoming an obstacle is what you should always remain focused on; not the problem itself. Learn to look pass the problem to find the opportunity.

Think back to a time in your life when you encountered a difficulty and how you overcame that difficulty. What did you do to overcome that particular obstacle? What is it about you specifically that made you overcome that obstacle? The answers these questions should serve as a “How to” guide to fixing your problems. The fact that you have not experienced a similar difficulty is proof that you have learned the particular lesson you were meant to learn through that experience. Even if you did experience it again, there’s a valuable lesson learned in every human experience.

Embrace the obstacles that may come your way as they are designed to increase our awareness that we are going down the right path. Most roads that are travelled are laden with bumps; the road to success is not exempt. The tools you need to get over this hump are the same tools you used to get over the last one; the only difference is the problem itself. Opportunities come several times a day, it’s up to you to recognize them as opportunities and chase after them no matter the cost. More problems means more opportunities.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – The Dream Chaser

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One of the toughest things to do is taking the first step. Many of us have the most brilliant ideas and dreams trapped in our minds and may never realize them because we simply won’t take the first step. There is something magical about taking the first step; a type of phenomenon where the stars align in your favor. While the first step is obviously an important one, the subsequent steps you take will be the difference between whether you will see these dreams come true or not. Take the first step and then the next and the next until the brisk walk inevitably turns into a marathon like run. Chase your dreams until you catch them!

When we chase our dreams one of two things will inevitably happen; either the dream will slow down so that you can catch up to it or you will have to speed up to catch up to the dream. Your focus should be on the fact that this is a chase. Chasing your dream means you have to literally get off your rear end, get on your feet and get moving. You will know when you are close to accomplishing your goals because that is when everything will start to seem as if it’s falling apart. It actually isn’t. This is only a test; a final exam of sorts to determine whether you can outlast the problem long enough to hoist the trophy. Don’t give up until and unless you claim your prize. The obstacles are just that; diversions. Stay the course.

All too often we get so close to reaching a goal but find it easier to throw our hands in the air and quit. Quitting is the easy way out and easy is never good in any situation. Instead of giving up, you have got to get tough. You must outlast the obstacles that are blocking your way. Yes, outlast. Some of them you will be able to crush automatically but there will be a few that you just have to be stronger than and even more you have to outlast. Remember that this is a chase, perhaps more like a marathon. And just like marathons, the victor is not only the one who finishes first but the one who outlasts their opponents.

Outlast, outwork and outthink your opponents and you will always produce outstanding results. Dreams are preludes to reality; a reality you must create.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Failing to Rise

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There is an ongoing battle between being cooperative and being competitive. Oftentimes, the thin line which separates the two becomes obscure. Most extreme competitors expect to win and most inevitably do. The problem comes when our expectations aren’t met and the results aren’t favorable. Many of us are so competitive that experiencing any loss would result in complete disappointment and utter devastation.

There are countless people who quit after they experience a loss or a failed attempt. My life experience has taught me that if perhaps I don’t win today, it doesn’t mean I can’t win tomorrow. Every loss presents an opportunity to learn, grow and get better. When I was in college, I ran for Student Body President. I truly gave that election my all and I mean ALL. After several grueling months of campaigning from dorms to classrooms, Election Day had finally arrived. Almost ten hours later a winner was announced. My name was not called.

Although I did not win the election, in many ways I still considered myself the victor and did not accept that this one loss would ultimately dictate my future. A winner understands that it is not over until it is completely over. Whether you win or lose, remember to always give it your best shot. While I was devastated at the time, I had to wrap my mind around the fact that failure is an event, it is not a person. No matter the results, you should never walk away from an experience hoping you did a little more. Leave it all on the battlefield.

The greatest difference between a winner and a loser, is that a winner always gets back up.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – The Written Word

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When we set out to accomplish a goal there are certain factors that must be in place in order for us to achieve optimal results. Our goals are simply fleeting thoughts until we write them down and commit to them. Oftentimes we sit and wonder why our dreams aren’t coming true while others seem to be enjoying their deserved blessings. I will tell you why some goals are easily reached while others may never be attained. In order to accomplish any goal you must clearly define your direction. Where are you going and how are you going to get there?

There is so much power in the spoken word and there is equal, if not greater, power in the written word. It is not enough to have your dreams and goals locked away safely in your mind, they must also be written. You must clearly outline your objectives, write them down and feverishly execute until they have been accomplished. We tend to create barriers through our self-talk, convincing ourselves to reconsider making the first move. The first move is to write down your goals.

Understand that your goals are only unreachable if you think they are. There is no such thing as a dream that is too big or a goal that is unachievable. Once you write them down, almost like magic, the universe begins to put people, places and things in perfect order in order to assist in the dream realization process. Our goals must be written in order for the universe to act on our behalf. Do not be misled; writing your goals down is not enough, execution is of the upmost importance. Write down your goals, put forth maximum effort in order to execute those goals and at all times expect them to be accomplished. That’s a winner’s mentality and the secret formula. Don’t believe it? Try it.

Remember, it’s difficult to hit a bulls-eye without a target.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Free At Last

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It is unreasonable to expect people to believe in your dreams and be more passionate about them than you are. The world around you is filled with dream killers. There are people who simply don’t want to see you succeed. The fact is, misery loves company and if you don’t succeed you will be miserable and if you are miserable you will be keeping a lot of company. If keeping company means failing then I’d rather be alone. It’s true what they say, it is very lonely at the top but there’s plenty of room up here.

Even if there are those who don’t want to see you succeed, succeed anyway. Reach as far towards the sky as you can then reach a thousand miles higher. Create goals so big that even you would be amazed if you reached them. You can achieve what your mind can conceive. How committed are you towards making your dreams come true? There will always be people who doubt you, even those closest to you. The only person responsible for your success is you, stop pointing fingers. If you don’t succeed it’s nobody’s fault but your own. Winners take full responsibility for their actions. You can’t expect others to be passionate about your dreams if you aren’t passionate in your pursuit of achieving them.

As a dream seeker and a person who accomplishes goals, it is imperative that you keep your eyes on the prize. Your focus should be laser-like similar to a racehorse in the Kentucky Derby. Those horses have blinders to restrict them from all of the distractions and other racehorses around them. What is going on to your left, your right and even behind you is none of your concern. At all times focus on your dreams and pursue them with vigorous passion. There is no greater joy than accomplishing a goal and seeing your dreams come true. Your dreams are meant to bring you freedom. Follow your dreams, find your freedom.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Hidden Blessing

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I know it may not seem that way sometimes but if you look closely you will notice that every cloud has a silver lining. Yes, it is true that this particular cloud or clouds may be blocking your view of the sun but aren’t all clouds are temporary? Simply, there is something to be said about how you look at your circumstances. It may not be as bad as you perceive it to be.

The other day a friend and I went to grab some lunch downtown after moving a few items. As we anticipated the food we were going to devour we took turns exclaiming how starved we were. We turned a corner and there lied a destitute man with no shoes and withered clothing who was obviously homeless. He was sleeping on a bench surrounded by bags filled with his worldly items. His face was weathered from all of the storms he had lived through and his body clearly suffering from lack of proper nourishment.

As we headed towards the restaurant I couldn’t get that image out of my head. While we felt we are starving we at least knew that it was temporary and were going to remedy that issue immediately because we had the capacity to do so. The man on the bench put everything into perspective; you may think you have it bad and that your problem is the biggest one in the world but someone else is going through worse. While that doesn’t make your problem any less important than the next and it certainly doesn’t solve it, it should help you understand the dynamics of your situation and help put things into perspective. Simply, while it could be better it could always be much, much worse.

Thank goodness for all of the blessings that are bestowed upon you and be even more thankful for the challenges you face in life. For it is in solving a problem, overcoming an obstacle, and beating the odds where our incredible strength to endure and carry on comes from. You have made it this far and this is truly the beginning. No problem is too great to solve, ask Albert Einstein. Take a step back, assess the situation, create a plan then execute until your desired results are met. It’s that simple.

Do not allow an issue, problem or challenge to be greater than the blessing that comes from overcoming it.

To The Top!
Joe Paul