Morning Cup of Joe – Crabs In A Barrel

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It is very unfortunate how some people truly don’t want to see you succeed. In fact, they will stop at nothing to ensure that you don’t. The “crabs in a barrel” mentality is what many of those folks subscribe to. If you’ve ever seen live crabs in a barrel or bucket, you would notice a few things. The first thing you’d notice is that many of the crabs do their very best to attempt to climb out of the barrel. The second thing you’d notice is that the crab that is at the highest height got there by stepping on and climbing on the backs of the other crabs. Finally, you would notice that no crab is ever successful in their attempt to climb out of the barrel because as soon as they are at their highest peak another crab pulls them right back down.

During your journey towards the top, you will face a similar demise; especially if you are committed to success. The first thing that you must understand is that success breeds envy. Some people would rather envy your success than go out and follow a similar path in an attempt to produce similar results. Why? Simply because one takes more effort than the other. It’s easier to envy than it is to work hard. Nonetheless, remain committed to your success and work diligently towards the realization of your dreams. Understand that it matters not what others think or feel about your success, work harder and smarter than them in order to separate yourself from the herd.

Much like misery loves company, so does mediocrity. You may feel like one of the crabs in a barrel filled with mediocre crabs trying to fight your way out. I submit to you to change the way you are viewing your circumstances. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Remove the vision of a crab in a barrel from your mind and replace it with a soaring eagle. You don’t have to be in the barrel amongst crabs if you don’t see yourself as one of the crabs. Enjoy the journey towards success and understand that the only thoughts that matter are yours. Everyone will have an opinion about your journey, mostly because it doesn’t cost them anything.

Focus on your journey, everything else is details.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Decisions, Decisions

Every decision isn’t going to be the right decision. No matter the outcome you have to live with it. I have met people who were afraid to make decisions solely based on the fact that they were unsure of the inevitable outcomes. Let me be the first to tell you that it is imperative that you not allow fear to keep you from pursuing anything, especially your dreams. Fear is a feeling we create in our minds of perceived setbacks that may not even exist. If anything, allow the fear and anxiety you experience to become the fuel that powers you to push forward.

You aren’t going to be right 100% of the time. You may have to try something several times before you get it right. You will make mistakes. You will experience failure. The greatest difference between yourself and a person who is wildly successful is simply the fact that the person who is wildly successful did not give up on their hopes and dreams. Sometimes we think that a setback means that we shouldn’t be doing a certain thing. It’s the exact opposite. Every time you are met with adversity, it simply means that you are headed in the right direction.

On this journey towards success and self-fulfillment you will inevitably run into roadblocks, speed bumps, and various obstacles. Much like when you are driving an actual car and you encounter these obstructions, you try to find a way around them in order to get to your final destination. Life and accomplishing your dreams work the same way. You have to be willing to move pass any obstacle, push through any road block and search for alternate routes or ways of arriving at your desired outcome.

If you make a mistake, work on ensuring that the chances of it reoccurring are slim to none. If you veer off the road and simply took your eyes off of your goal, simply remember who is in control, grab that wheel and refocus. If you still want to be as successful as you should be, if you can read this, there’s plenty of time if you choose today to refocus on what’s most important.

Decide right now what it is you want out of life and go and claim what is rightfully yours.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Have What It Takes

When you set out to accomplish a goal it is critically important that you stick with it and see it through to completion. Now, re-read the first sentence a few more times. Most of the time when we take the initiative to start something, it is almost certain that we are going to be met with obstacles; some of which we cannot avoid. The goal is to simply focus on what matters most; finishing and finishing strong. Remember, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that matters most.

It costs you absolutely nothing to create a goal nor does it cost you to have the desire to pursuit a dream. The cost that you must consider when you are attempting to make your dreams come true is the price you are willing to pay to make certain that they do. Sweat equity is what you must be willing to invest in order to see a positive end result. Your goals are truly an arm’s reach away but you cannot get to them if you’re sitting down. Stand up and chase your dreams. Do not stop until you get them and even after that, keep going.

The road to success will seem long and at times bumpy but commit to memory the fact that you were born to win. I firmly believe that you were not put on this earth to lose. You were put on this earth to make an impact on the world around you. We all have a purpose in life; the goal is to discover yours then share it with the world. Do not think about the journey, simply focus on the destination. It doesn’t matter how you get there, just get there.

Remember, anyone can set a goal but it takes a winner to complete one.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – The Three Tests

If you want to know if the path you are currently following will lead you to your hearts desires, there are a few things I will share with you to help you easily determine. I call them the three tests. The first thing to look for is the ease at which things start to fall into place. When it is the right thing, the universe makes adjustments on your behalf to ensure that your path is clear. Conversely, when you are heading down the wrong path you will be met with intense opposition. Do not be misled, sometimes the opposition you face does not necessarily mean that you are headed down the wrong path. Simply, you may have to drive through the fog in order to see a little clearer.

The second test relates to time and patience. If it is meant to be than it will be and there is nothing that you or anyone or anything can do to prevent it from happening. What you wish for today may not come tomorrow but it doesn’t mean that it will never come. That is where the patience comes into play. If you believe in your heart of hearts that something is possible then it absolutely will be. Much like God, it may not come when you want it but it will always be on time. There are things that may have to occur before you receive your blessing. Remain patient as the obstacles in your path are being cleared so that you may continue on your journey with ease.

The final test deals with feeling. You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you are about to do something big. We are all equipped with an internal radar detector built to detect when something feels right and when something feels wrong; always trust your gut. There is nothing stronger than your intuition. Think of a time when your intuition or that inner-voice led you out of danger or into an opportunity. It happens to me all the time. I not only listen to my inner-voice, I trust it. You will know if it is right because you will be able to feel it deep down in your soul.

These three tests can be applied to every aspect of your life, from relationships to opportunities. Understand that with time, patience, your gut feeling and the universe working on your behalf anything is possible. Believe it then see it.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – The First Day

You may not believe this but today is the first day of the rest of your life. Today you can choose to start taking advantage of this thing called life. Today you can start to use your time wisely. What you do with the time you have on Earth is essential to your success. Whether our time on Earth is predestined or not, we are not afforded the luxury of knowing the exact date we will be called home. Even if we did, I wonder how many people would be more focused on the task at hand. I wonder how many people would actually use their time to make a difference in the world. It is imperative that you use your time wisely. Make every minute count and every second matter. Understand that you are in control of how you budget your 24 hours. More importantly, do not waste precious limited time on frivolous and meaningless activities.

Often times we allow ourselves to make the critical mental error of thinking we have more time than we actually do. This assumption is simply based on my observation of the world around me. There are folks whose actions dictate that they may possibly have access to a time machine of sorts. They live each day as if tomorrow is promised. I often hear people say things like, “I will get to it tomorrow” or “When I have more time, I’ll focus on that”. The fact of the matter is we do not know for certain when our clocks will expire which is more reason why should choose to maximize each days potential.

Your perception of time should be one of immediacy and urgency. Every step should have pep in it. Stop walking around as if time is not of the essence. Stop acting as if your tomorrows are certain; the wisest among us knows that tomorrows aren’t promised. There is no time for foolishness; the time to focus on your dreams and pursue them with vigorous passion is now. Your time is not to be wasted on issues that are miniscule or futile. We certainly make time for things that we deem important in our lives. Make succeeding as important as breathing and watch as your dreams start to come true. If you want a better life, start investing time into ensuring that you will have one and you inevitably will.

We only have one life to live; this is not a dress rehearsal.

To The Top,
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Que Sera, Sera

Sometimes we have to know when to let go. Not in the sense of a failed relationship or a project gone wrong but in the sense of knowing that we have done all we can. Sometimes we try our hardest and put forth maximum effort in order to yield a particular set of results to no avail never once realizing the key ingredient to the recipe is letting go of the control we think we have over certain situations. The key ingredient is simply letting the chips fall where they may.

When we let go of our need to control every aspect of our lives, we open the door to God’s plan. There are some things that you cannot control the outcome to no matter how hard you try. Maintain the understanding that the future is not ours to see. Simply live your life and more importantly live in the present. Oftentimes we focus on a tomorrow we know nothing about neglecting the effort that should be put on the present. Do not be misled, I am not saying to not think about or focus on the future, I am simply saying to not dwell on what you think lies ahead because you do not have control over that.

In the 1950’s a popular song sung by Doris Day helped to present a new paradigm on the way one should view life. “Que Sera, Sera” which translates to whatever will be, will be. You must be willing to adapt to change as quickly as the change occurs while maintaining the understanding that there are no accidents. Everything happens as it is designed to happen. From the people who enter and exit your life to the trials and tribulations we face; it is all for a reason and by design. Let go of the need to control some of the outcomes in your life and start embracing the fact that whatever will be, will certainly be.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Blame Yourself

Some people are wired to automatically defer the cause of their demise to external forces never taking responsibility for their own actions. They will say that the reason why they aren’t succeeding is because of this person or that situation. They will say and falsely believe that if ‘this’ was a certain way or if ‘they’ gave me a chance then I could be successful; never once pointing out the real reason why they have not experienced success. Maintain the understanding that when you point out your finger, three are pointing right back at you.

If you are in a place where you haven’t succeeded, there is only one person responsible for your outcomes; YOU! You are the reason why you haven’t succeeded. Stop blaming it on your circumstances because there are some who have overcome much worse who are doing much better than you are. Stop blaming it on the fact that other people won’t help you because there are some who have built their dreams from the ground up brick-by-brick by themselves. Stop blaming it on the stars not aligning because if you are waiting on the right time to act understand that the right time may never come.

One of the main reasons why some people never reach their full potential is because they lack the fortitude necessary to succeed. The first step is prioritizing your life. Maintain the understanding that some things that you are putting at the top of your list of priorities should not have ever made the list. Reevaluate what you consider to be important because there is a huge chance that it isn’t. If you want to get your life together you must first distinguish between what is important and what is not.

The second step is to stop feeling sorry for yourself. You were born to win, commit that to memory. If it seems that no one will help you then you must help yourself. If you were in a burning building, would you wait until someone came to rescue you or would you try to find a way out? Clearly you would do whatever it takes to stay alive and find a way out. Success is no different. Stop waiting on the shooting star and start trying to figure out how to be one.

The third and final step is perhaps the most challenging; acceptance. Accept the fact that God, in his infinite wisdom, created you just the way you are for reasons you may not even know. Accept the fact that if you want to succeed you have to be hungry. You have to want it. Accept the fact that the people who love you the most will not enable you to continue to fail by supporting your destructive behavior. Accept the fact that the only reason why you fail is because of your own efforts or lack thereof. Accept the fact that if you want your situation to change then you must be that change you seek. It is impossible for your situation to change if you are not willing to change yourself.

Throughout my life’s journey, I have succeeded and I have failed. I have been lied on, talked about and mistreated. I have been told that I would never amount to a hill of beans. I have been ostracized and neglected. In the eyes of so many I have been all of the aforementioned and more. The one thing I will never be is defeated. I will never be defeated because I take responsibility not only for my actions but for my outcomes.

If you are not successful and your life is in shambles, don’t blame the world; blame yourself.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – The Reason Why

There will be good days and sometimes it will seem like you can’t avoid the bad ones. While I fully understand and am aware that every day we are blessed to see is truly a blessing, there are some days when I too need encouragement. Some days I just don’t feel like doing anything. Some days I just want to lie back down and not write another encouraging word. On days like today when people would certainly understand why I would take the day off from writing the Morning Cup of Joe, I must put myself aside and realize that this isn’t about me.

You are the reason why I wake up every morning and write an encouraging word. When I initially started on this journey, there were times when I simply wanted to quit. Then I thought about you and wondered what if I was counting on you and you quit on me? I am more than blessed to serve as a vessel of hope for those who need it and those who seek it. When I feel like giving up, I remind myself why I got in the fight in the first place.

Quitting is one of the easiest things to do in the world; it takes absolutely no effort whatsoever. Why do something that is easy when you will most likely appreciate the thing that takes a little more effort. My goal isn’t to change the world as I am not confident that this is even possible. However, a more realistic goal that I have made is to affect one life; yours. If you are moved to change or act based on these words then I am serving my purpose.

When I don’t feel like doing it, I remember you. When I want to take the day off, I remember you. When I feel like giving up, I remember you. When you serve your purpose, the first thing you realize is that it isn’t about you. It is always about the people you are serving. There is someone out there counting on you to simply show up, don’t let them down.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – I Surrender All

It happened again. You know how I advised you to pay close attention to messages sent from God? Well, I don’t think I mentioned how frequent those messages can be. Last night I co-hosted a special event hosted by Paul Carrick Brunson, coined as the modern day Hitch and host of the show Lovetown, USA on the OWN Network. He delivered an outstanding presentation which included personal stories as well as anecdotes which served as guides to help you find Mr. or Mrs. Right. What stood out to me from the entire interactive presentation were the last ten minutes when he mentioned a concept that is not foreign to most people but it is certainly not practiced by all. He talked about surrendering.

Paul showed a video of Oprah as she shared how before becoming Oprah as we know and love her, she was an inexperienced actress auditioning for her first ever role as strong willed Sofia in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple. She talked about how she had been calling her agent almost on the hour asking for updates when he finally told her “Alfre Woodard just left my office and auditioned for the same role. Alfre Woodard is an experienced actress and you are not. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

Oprah was distraught and disappointed because she just knew she didn’t have a chance against a more experienced actress. To take her mind off of it, she decided to go for a run on a nearby track. As she was running, she began to sing the song “I surrender all” and simply asked God to do his will and that she was no longer going to worry about it. She turned it all over to Him. A short while later, someone came running onto the track where Oprah was running and told her that Steven Spielberg was on the phone. We all know what happened next.

The beauty in the story is in the surrendering. The final and perhaps most critical piece to the success puzzle is surrender. If you feel that you’ve done everything in your power to yield a particular set of results and it hasn’t happened yet, it is because you haven’t surrendered. There is no need to worry about a future you have no clue about, turn it over to God. When you surrender, you trust God to guide your steps. When you surrender, you give up all desires of your own. When you surrender, you must be satisfied with whatever God gives you.

Choose today to surrender all. Give it to God and watch as His will be done. There is no power in the universe that can interrupt God’s plan. What God has for you, is truly for you.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – The Two “C” Words

There are a couple of words you must be weary of as it relates to your inevitable success. These particular words have the ability to make you think that if things are good now then that is the way they will always be. Throughout my journey I’ve learned to stay as far away from these two words as possible namely because it creates a level of surety that inevitably makes you lethargic.

After college, I moved to Los Angeles where my dream was to become an actor. I quickly learned that 90% of the people in Los Angeles are actors and 90% of that population is starving. Starving meaning they aren’t working in show business and that it is not an easy industry to break into. I had to supplement my dream and figure out how not to starve so I decided to obtain my real estate license. Boy was that a great decision. I started doing exceptionally well making more money than I had ever known possible. That decision forced me to defer my dream of being a movie star. It also allowed me to believe that the good times would be around forever. I was very comfortable; the first of two words that I had to learn to eliminate from my vocabulary.

When you are comfortable it triggers the other word that I advise you to be aware of; complacency. When you think that all is well you tend to put things in cruise control and mistakenly believing that this is how it will always be. During my heyday in the Real Estate industry, I became comfortable and complacent. I thought that the money tree would be around forever. There is no way I could have predicted the massive downfall which occurred at the time that it did. I was forced to learn the importance of not resting on your laurels. Successes can be temporary but a successful person is permanent.

Don’t be afraid to ruffle your own feathers to get you going in the right direction. While being comfortable may be a goal for some, it certainly should not be the goal of someone who wants a little more out of life. During your lifetime, you will be exposed to possibilities of learning lessons; learn them. The universe has a way of re-teaching you lessons that you have difficulty learning. I had to learn that you can’t be comfortable because it leads to being complacent. I learned that it is perfectly fine to want more out of life. If you aren’t satisfied with the way things are, change them or change yourself or wisely change both.

Again, some people are fine with where they are but I doubt that you are in that majority. If you start feeling comfortable, you are doing something wrong. Dr. Martin Luther King once said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Challenge yourself and expect more out of life.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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