I've spent the last few days in my hometown riding around reminiscing on old times. Actually, I just got back from playing basketball at the park with my mom at 5AM in the morning lol! Ironically I remember many days as a struggling bachelor walking through that same park fraught with frustration. I used to believe my life sucked. But looking in retrospect, I'm so thankful for every experience. As a matter of a fact, walking the same paths now as a successful entrepreneur brought me to a sobering revelation: success sucks too.
When most budding entrepreneurs and creatives hit me up for advice, they look me as someone who has arrived. They assume that I've somehow surpassed the realm of having problems. But I'd be remiss to let that assumption grow legs. Truthfully, I have ALOT of problems. Attaining success does solve certain problems, but it also brings new (and sometimes bigger) problems. From longtime relationships failing before your eyes to Uncle Sam digging deeper in your pockets lol, it gets real. Gaining success opens your eyes to how ugly people can really be.
Of course there are lots of wonderful things about success as well! Taking care of the ones I love and being able to bless others is the best part of my new life. And of course doing music for a living is a dream come true! Sometimes I still can't believe that everything turned out the way that it did. But being on both sides of the financial coin has given me a very balanced perspective on life. I realize that no matter where you are in life, you'll never escape problems and there will always be elements of your life that suck really bad. I've experienced people asking me how to get on my level while my actual life was in shambles. I've experienced making crazy money while being severely depressed from real situations at the same time. I've been there more times than I care to admit. Many terrible things have happened in my life since attaining success. Things that if people knew, they'd wonder how I was able to keep pushing in the midst. You can't buy your way out of tears and pain. They come with the territory.
This short blog isn't meant to discourage, but actually to encourage readers to find peace and contentment in the life you live TODAY. Definitely shoot for the stars and work hard towards attaining your dreams. But don't feel like you have to get to a certain point before you start living. Cherish this moment because the next year, month, week, day, minute, or second isn't promised. When I visited my grandmother's grave yesterday, it was shocking to see how many other people I personally knew that were buried in the same graveyard. Several of them were fresh graves. Several of them around my age or younger. I would pay anything to have another moment with some of the people in that graveyard, especially my grandmother. She sacrificed so much for me and I wish I would've had the opportunity to pour back into her the way she poured into me. She died a little over a year before my business really took off. I actually missed phone calls from her the same week she died because I was busy building my business and thought I could call her back later. Later was too late. You never know when the end will come so you have to find peace in your situation and learn to appreciate the good parts of the life you live now. Honestly most of my best experiences happened before success. Success only adds fuel to the fire. You have to build a good fire first or success won't last long. With all the success I have today, I can't buy back the people or experiences that are gone and that hurts.
So in closing, I understand that elements of your life may suck. But no matter how far you go in your journey, you will ALWAYS have parts of your life that suck. Find the stuff in your life that doesn't suck and learn to appreciate that. Especially appreciate the people in your life because people don't last forever. No matter how tough your situation is, there are plenty people out there in worse situations that would happily trade places with you. Enjoy today. Be encouraged! -Jonez