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We Don’t Always Have It Together

By Cheval John

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

We see a person who have achieved their goals and are showcasing their expertise to the world.

We might think that the person has everything together and might be thinking that nothing can go wrong in their life.

It is understandable to think like that because most of the time, we see in media outlets of how a person seems to have everything together with their life.

We might only see the successes, but never see the failures that they endured to achieve success.

One case in point, Michael Jordan, who celebrating his 52nd birthday today.

We all know him as arguably one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game.

Amid the 6 National Basketball Association (NBA) championships that Jordan won and being one of the major reasons why the NBA is globalized, many might not know about his “failures” while trying out for the varsity team in high school.

Jordan did not “make” the varsity team during his sophomore year even though he played for the junior varsity team.

Even though the junior varsity team was a consolation prize, it motivated Jordan to work even harder on his basketball skills.

Jordan made the team in his junior and senior year of high school, went on to the University of North Carolina, sanked the game-winning shot in the 1982 NCAA national championship game against Georgetown and a couple years later, got drafted by the Chicago Bulls and the rest was history.

You might be thinking after reading this that Jordan has been rising in success and does not have any struggles.

I can guarantee that Jordan and ultra-successful people still experience failures despite their success.

The biggest difference is that the successful are not afraid to fail.

They do not see their failures or struggles as the end of the world.

Instead, they see their failures or struggles as learning experiences so that they can achieve their success.

We might be afraid to show our failures because we think that people will judge us.

However, if you showcase your failures and your struggles, they will be drawn to you even more because they can relate to you.

Though I have achieved some successes like becoming an Amazon best-seller author for my second book, “8 Lessons Every Podcaster Needs To Learn,”covering sporting events as a freelance journalist, hosting a podcast and being a blogger, I still struggle with self-doubt and comparing myself to others everyday.

At times, I struggle with putting a great article together because I want the post to be stellar and I don’t want to fail.

But the truth of the matter is that I work hard everyday and keep a positive mindset because I know that I want to be successful.

If I would have allowed the fear of failure to stop me from becoming a blogger, I would not have had the opportunity to venture into podcasting and becoming an author.

In conclusion, it is o.k. to fail and share those failures because you will show everyone your journey to success.

Just don’t feel sorry for yourself when you experience failure.

Have you experienced failure in your life? If so, how did you overcome failure to be successful to make the world a better place?

Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Affiliate and I earn a commission whenever I recommend a book. In this case, I am recommending my book.

Rebounding From Defeat

By Cheval John

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

A person will experience a defeat at one point in their lives.

When they do experience the defeat, they have two choices: stay down or get back up.

If you stay down, you will be sending a message that the adversity is too much for you to overcome.

It might be easy because you do not have to try again to fulfill your dreams of being successful to make a difference in the world.

However, you will end up feeling regret because you chose to wallow in your defeat.

On the other hand, when you get back up and try again, you will be a step closer to fulfilling your goals.

You will see your momentary defeats or setbacks as life lessons that will help you to avoid making the mistakes that led to your defeat.

For example, the Sam Houston State Bearkats team suffered their first ever defeat in Southland Conference (SLC) action against arch-rival Stephen F. Austin on their home court at Johnson Coliseum on January 24th.

The Bearkats could have decided to feel sorry for themselves because of their loss to the undefeated (SLC) conference leaders.

Instead, they regrouped and strung together three straight wins including the 79-50 win against Lamar to remain in second place in the SLC with a 9-1 record (17-5 overall).

So if you get knocked down by defeat, get back up.

Because you will inspire others to keep on chasing their dreams to make the world a better place.

Don’t Cry When Things Don’t Go Your Way

By Cheval John

If you feel that things are not going your way, celebrate because the adversity can be a way for you to discover your strengths.

You might have aspired to play professional baseball, but had a injury that derailed your dreams.

Or wanted to work at a prestigious company, but they did not take any interest in you.

Though they are “devastating” events, it was a blessing in disguise because you were meant to do more with your life.

When I started college late in 2003 at 22 years old, I felt that I was behind everyone who were about to graduated with their college degrees.

I was thinking that if I had started college immediately after moving to Huntsville, Texas, then I would have been able to graduate at the same time as the others.

I had made up my mind that I was going to try and graduate with my Bachelor’s Degree as fast as I could.

Though I enjoyed college, making friends and learning my second language as Spanish major, I was constantly comparing myself to others who were making money in their jobs because of their degrees while I was working in the fast food industry during my time as an undergraduate.

When I finally graduated in 2009 from Sam Houston State via Lone Star College (gained Associate Degree in 2007), I thought I was going to join the work force because of the degrees.

However, I was wrong as I had graduated in the middle of the “Great Recession” and I was looking for work because I had quit the last fast food job.

I was angry, feeling sorry for myself and blaming people because I thought if I had only started college before 2003, I would not have been in this position in looking for a job.

At that moment thanks to my parents, I understood that I had a lot to be thankful for because I had achieved my college degrees despite graduating high school with a 1.9 G.P.A. that prevent most people from attending college.

If I had graduated in 2003, I would have missed out on the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in public relations, journalism, television, and radio.

Also, I would have missed out on covering Sam Houston State football consecutive national championship appearance in Frisco, Texas, the baseball team winning three consecutive Southland Conference Championships and three at-large berths in the NCAA tournament and of course, the Bearkat bowling team winning the school’s first ever, NCAA Division 1 National Championship.

So celebrate your failures because they are the lessons that will guide you to your eventual goals that will allow you to make the world a better place.

Explore Your Hometown Like A Tourist

By Cheval John

Photo courtesy of taoty

Photo courtesy of taoty

Travel gives people the opportunity to explore a culture that is different from their own.

It breaks the preconceived notions of how people in a foreign country live.

Unfortunately, many only travel as a tourist to escape the rigors of work, especially here in the United States.

According to a report by CBS News, the average American only get two weeks of paid vacation time.

That same report by CBS said 25 % of Americans use the entire two weeks of their paid vacation time.

It is not surprising because we have the mindset of “Living To Work.”

We are really focused on getting the promotion we will sacrifice living just to achieve the promotion.

In reality, we were raised to believe that we had to go get good grades in school that we could get into college.

Once we get into college, we should choose the major that will get us that job and from there work until retirement.

We don’t think that it is possible to spend time in a foreign country and explore a different culture.

Another belief is that the only ones who could spend an extended period of time overseas are college students.

The truth is this type of lifestyle in overseas travel is open to anyone who really want to experience a different culture.

However, it doesn’t hurt if you start living abroad during your time in college.

According to the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA), 289,408 U.S. students studied abroad during the 2012-13 school year.

That is only a small percentage of about 18 million students who attends universities in the U.S. according to the Statistic Brain report.

What this shows is that if you studied abroad and are looking to enter the workforce or try to gain an overseas assignment with a company, you will stand out from the millions of people who did not studied abroad.

And if you did studied abroad or lived abroad, you will experience re-entry culture shock.

You will start to feel like things are boring in your hometown, will feel sadness because you can’t relate to your friends or family because they have not spent time overseas.

I can tell you that if you feel that way, you should try to find people who have studied abroad themselves and learned how they overcame re-entry shock.

Also, you can start exploring your hometown like a tourist.

You can visit the museum, attend a symphony orchestra concert, go to a sporting event, etc.

That will allow you to maintain your sense of adventure when you traveled abroad to your hometown.

I can tell you that while I spent three months in Chile, (the majority of the time in Vina del Mar), I walked around the city and explored it.

Prior to spending time in Vina del Mar, I had a preconceived notion that it was going to be touristy because the city is the tourist capital of Chile.

However, I was happily surprised that it was not too touristy because I had arrived during their winter time and the weather changed a lot like here in Texas.

After returning and experiencing re-entry shock, I decided to read up on stories of people who lived overseas.

I also realized that I could walk around the city of Huntsville, which is a small town, and get around easily.

Now that I am in the Houston area, I will aim to explore Houston as much as possible while I am here.

I know that I will learn something new about the city of Houston and will also maintain my sense of adventure for travel.

Have you studied, interned or lived overseas? If you did how did you overcome re-entry shock and how have you maintained your sense of adventure in your hometown? You can leave your comments below.

This post is in response to Natalie Sisson’s question, “What is the one thing you will do to make you feel alive in your hometown as a tourist #paraphrased as part of her “15 Days To Freedom Blog Challenge.”

Cultivating Your Focus To Financial Freedom

by Cheval John

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate and I make a commission on books recommended. I will never recommend a book I have not read before.

This post is in response to Natalie Sisson’s question, “What Is The One Thing You Will Focus On In 2015?”

It is the seventh day of her 15 Days To Freedom Blog Challenge.

If you want to join in on the blog challenge, you can visit here

The one thing I will focus on in 2015 is being financially independent.

The reason is because I had developed a bad spending habit over the years due to a poverty mindset.

My thinking was if I had more money or was a millionaire, I would be happy.

The problem with the thinking is that we are not satisfied with what we have.

It is one of the scriptures that said, “If you can handle the smallest things, then you can manage the bigger things. #paraphrased.

What this means is if you can’t manage the smallest amount of money, then how are you going to handle a million dollars.

Example of this is former NBA professional players who go broke after retiring because they spend on big houses and cars or lottery winners who wind up losing their earnings in a few years.

Even though the rich and the ultra rich are financially independent, the not so rich like travel writers, are also financially independent because they understand how to manage their finances.

That is why they are among the happiest people on earth because they are doing what they love.

As Rolf Potts puts it in his book, “Vagabonding,” “The only real asset we have is time.”

And to piggyback on the statement, Robert Kiyosaki mentioned in his book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad “Our minds are our greatest asset.”

So basically if we feed our minds with positive information and surround ourselves around people who are successful with their finances, then we can enjoy true freedom to live our lives to the fullest.

What Is The One Thing That You Will Focus On In 2015? You can leave your comment below.