My father is arguably the coolest man I know. Swag on 100,000 trillion? Yep that's him. You can recognize him from a mile away because his walk is a dash of Iceberg Slim and a sprinkle of Denzel's smooth. As a child I was the Woodstock to his Joe Cool, the Rudy to his Cliff Huxtable...I wanted to be just like him.
Over the years he has taught me much...about self value, religion, discipline, conviction, professional success and most recently relationships. Although you can never tell if he's about to clown you or drop inspiration, undoubtedly I often leave our conversations wishing I had a tape recorder. After recently sharing some of his words of wisdom among friends, I realized how much his words have helped me. I was reminded of the days when Dads were gods, I was just a little Woodstock and everything he said was golden. Today, I hope to share a few of these golden nuggets with you. It's ok, I think I have a few cool points to spare...
1) On competition/intimidation: Don't let anyone interfere with your A-game. Don't worry about what anyone else is doing. Stay focused, and play your top game.
2) On pushing the envelope: Remember ABC: Always be closing (sales terminology for finalizing a concrete action/sale to move business or advance your agenda)
3) On awkward silence: Don't be so serious. When tension is high, always have a clean joke. It may be corny, but it will break the tension.
4) On breakups: You have to take the 'e' out of 'emotion' and get in 'motion'. We don't feel sorry for ourselves. We keep moving.
5) On misfortune: Whenever something good happens to us we say "Alhamdullilah" (all praise is due to God), but when things don't go well we say "woe is me." We have to remember to praise God always, even during misfortune. Sometimes a seemingly good thing is bad for us, and a seemingly bad this is good for us.
6) On unexpected surprises: When the universe gives you a gift, it's our obligation to acknowledge and cherish it.
7) On effective communication: Think three times before you speak.
8) On seeking truth: With knowledge and life choices, too often we respond as if we are starving. Consequently we "consume" whatever is placed in front of us...even if it is not good for us. We must be selective with the information we accept for truth and in our decision making... just as we are selective with what we eat. Just because a plate is put in front of us does not mean we must eat from it. You have the right to push it away, and to choose what you ingest mentally and physically.
As we all continue on our individual journey to find our truth, may we also find our voice, our swag and most definitely our cool.