Interdependence in America

As we prep to celebrate Independence Day, better known as the 4th of July, I think about how far we have yet to go. At this point in time, America as a Nation should be held to a higher standard. Yes, America is a “meritocracy” where skills are rewarded, but we are also one of the richest nations on earth. The 20th century saw massive wealth accumulation, so much so that Millennials stand to inherit over $40 trillion dollars. Most of this money lives in capital markets, earning suboptimal returns with moderate risk. That money could be put to such better use.

The idea of Impact Investing should be an American norm.

The American GDP is of importance to us all. To see capital collect dust, waiting to fund the next tech company, while millions of Americans live in poverty is distasteful. The idea of charter school booms with public school decline is distasteful. High rates of unemployment and incarceration are distasteful. Why are we investing in China and India as a government? Why is Private Equity investing in the same countries and other emerging markets? Why doesn’t American health issues in low income communities non reflective of the Foreign Aid to other countries? Why is there so much poverty? Why is all this going on within our borders when there are TRILLIONS of dollars available to solve American issues and boost our total economic output? Because we aren’t interdependent.

America is built on the foundation of the distinction of the other, it’s built on capitalism and the idea that it’s better to exploit time rather than develop skills. The world is building around America, while we are sleeping in our inequities and inequalities. We applaud celebrities for tweets of support and joining social causes, we applaud millionaires and billionaires the same way. But are they doing their part? Are they missing an opportunity to actually invest in the development of the country, to position us for a more prosperous future in a changing Global landscape?

We are. Impact investing is growing to a $300 billion dollar industry. Impact is the idea of adding social or environmental impact into the investment picture. As demands for more socially responsible investment opportunities increase, more and more financial institutions are creating products for their clients. JPMorganChase, Wells Fargo, UBS, Goldman Sachs, the list goes on. The idea of making money, while making a difference is becoming all the rage. As we grow into more economic options to financially incentivize impact investments, America will become more interdependent. Looking within it’s own borders for investment opportunities that can impact millions and changing the landscape of America. Imagine an America with more professional competition, where your skills dictate opportunity and not your skin color of family black book of connections. An America built by Americans for Americans. The government should not be solely responsible for the development of it’s citizens, not when private money is leaving our borders to build up other borders. We can create for-profit change in America, it’s already being done, we just have to have the desire and intention to do it on our own soil.


American in the 21st Century

Today represents a pivotal moment in the history of the United States. In 1776, on July 2nd the Declaration of Independence was approved. 2 days later, it was signed. I love this moment more than the 4th of July for numerous reasons. The main reason is that it was the Start-Up launch of America. The reasons why America became America are what I think are missing in today’s version of America. During the time period of the 13 Colonies, America was seen as an expansive opportunity. Although previously tied to Great Britain, with limited control of production, America decided to produce for itself. A nation of entrepreneurs. Looking to build a new land of opportunity. That they did. But today majority of Americans don’t like there job, a large number a depressed and many wonder about the Why of their life. Cough cough midlife crisis. We work and work and work to retirement, saddled with bills, counting on the mid 60’s to enjoy life.

For most people, they feel that fulfillment of basic needs requires one to sacrifice their time in a job, that only creates spending habits. Even myself, as a pro athlete, would at times, shut down after work. I went through periods of no investment into self, but relaxing and preparing for the next day. I watched sports, I went to games, I hung out, I was enjoying my success. Than I realized it was all a lie. The idea of 6%-12% returns on earned income deployed in the stock market seems like success, indeed the passive income is. But America isn’t passive by nature, it’s active. Now I do understand, that not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur or a businessman. But each of us has something special that the world is in need of. But we have to have the moral courage to do what we know we need to do.

Leaving the NFL was that thing for me. I had a choice. To continue to exploit my body by increasing my risk of loss of quality of life, collect $900k-$2-3 million a year for a few years. But for whatever reason, it didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel right committing 10 months out the year to a sport, while kids were struggling right were they are. I realized that making money, makes no difference. Acquiring things make no difference. And even donating money at times can have less than the intended impact. I felt it was my responsibility to do something about it. A look into my personal civic duty. This changed my life. I stopped worrying about what America could do for me, and focused on what I could do for America. Yes, I have understand that I have to take care of myself and my family. But what good is material security in a messed up world? To me, not much at all.

In feeling like this, I felt that to fulfill my civic duty as an America, I needed to leave the NFL. Although it wasn’t easy, I decided to do the necessary work to put myself in a position to solve problems with the money I earned, rather than focusing on spending it or holding onto it for later use. Now, I’m not throwing it away, it’s all being deployed strategically, with the bet being that the long term reward is not merely income but impact. I believe being American means upholding our civic duty to make our country better within our means.

Knowing that poverty is dragging down the American economic output, hasn’t been enough to rectify it. If you knew that EVERYONE could enjoy a better quality of life if we worked together as Americans would you do it? I would. I see China surpassing the US in preparation for the 22nd century. We are focused on making money and spending money. Not production. At least not anymore. It seems like the book, ‘The Triple Package’ is tight. After two generations of assimilation, the third generation loses its edge. Just think about how hard your grandparents had to work to get the same things we get now? Are we willing to work as hard as that generation? I don’t know. Because our work is different, it’s about more than equality and equality of opportunity. It’s also about equity. This is why we have to produce.

America was about production. Now it’s about consumption. China was impoverished, but now, they produce for the world. They are building a new Silk Road, creating their own space program which has alliances with many nations. They realize the time for them is now. We have to realize our time is now. As we grow into the future, we are going to need to compete on an international level with production. The right thing to do as an American, is to help build the future, not let time and capital collect dust or settle for 6-12% process. Being American is about taking the necessary risk to live the life you envision for yourself. America is about opportunity, to be American should mean one that seized opportunity for the greater good. But we are missing the point. We aren’t, as a people creating the companies we enjoy supporting. Immigrants dominate the STEM industries which are the modern gateway to new opportunities. It’s the new language of the world. These companies talk about the lack of American talent. Our civic duty is to help make America better. Are you just enjoying your citizenship? Or do you fight for yourself like our Founding Fathers fought to establish a New Land of opportunity.

[Poem] An unexamined life is not worth living

When I write I try to shine some light on my fight with life…

Tales from being in the darkness strapped in a harness…

Stuck…but I’m a fight regardless…

Not trying to be the hardest…

Just trying to be the last at the table card less…

Playing the hand I’m dealt…

Walking tall even though the blows are felt…

Even been hit below the belt…


That’s what happens in the fight with self…

You become both the enemy and the help….

Tales of two lives when I rise…

Like the Phoenix…

But this sequence…

Got me dreaming…

About a genius before my lifetime

Named Einstein

Reincarnated and planted into my mind…

That’s why I’m relentless…

And constantly pushing these limits…

Defying physics…

Architect to this system…

Deeper than religion…

Or some construct in a prism…

The only reason why I think about this stuff is because an unexamined life isn’t worth living.

My Destiny is to TRY

To succeed or to not succeed is definitely not the dilemma I find myself in. I’ve never been one to be obsessed with money. I care about many more things that money, but as a human, I recognize the tool that money is and what that tool can do, but that tool is not a measure of success for me. Making money is very easy, especially in America. What’s hard is making the sacrifices necessary to gain the skills necessary to reach success. Knowing I was willing to sacrifice for my greater good, I wanted to know why not me?

Why couldn’t I be a great American Entrepreneur? Why couldn’t I be the one to address the longterm issues of the Black community? Why couldn’t I solve a big enough problem to where I only focused on improving the lives of others? I looked and looked and looked and I never found anything that said I couldn’t be anything that I wanted to be. Archimedes is by far my favorite human. He was killed by Roman soldiers for his refusal to stop working. He once said, ‘first say what you want to be and then become it’ as well as, ‘give me a firm place in which to stand and I can move the world.’ Two very powerful quotes. I’ve seen other quotes from other people that speak on our unlimited potential, if we only break the limits of our minds. I never understood why, if we knew that we only used 10% of our brains, wouldn’t we want to tap into the remaining 90%. This is what I wanted to do. Push myself mentally, beyond any limits I reached physically. I was ready to make the jump.

Making the jump is different from climbing to the point in which you will leap from. I sat and sat and sat, waiting for the perfect moment. Once I jumped, I knew it was right. I feel free. Free knowing that when I wake up, I am waking up to a problem that hasn’t been solved. Free knowing that after financing 5 years of dedicated R/D that trying actually pays off. In trying to solve this problem and being committed to the solution, I actually found it. I found all the necessary pieces required to reconfigure the puzzle of Black America, in a way that suits the creation of true opportunities. Will it reach the heights of my vision. That I do not know; knowing that is not my task, mission or purpose. My purpose is solely to try.

Trying is the essence of entrepreneurship. Seeing something that others do not see, create value where others see none, delivering something new and something better. Xerox didn’t know what it had, Steve Jobs did though. Jeff Bezos knew what he had. Elon Musk knew what he had. Warren Buffet knew what he had. They all had an opportunity to try something in way that hadn’t be tried before. They all endured failure. They all had setbacks. But they all are on the pantheon of business. Because they tried.

If you continuously heard, try, go ahead, you’re young, life isn’t guaranteed, opportunity is their for the taking, wouldn’t you take your shot? I had to. Just like I needed to know what the NFL was like. I need to know about the American Dream. I need to see if you can set an intentional goal, do the work and see that goal become a reality. In my search to know, the only way to find out is to actually try. If trying is my destiny, than trying is what I will do.

Elon and I

What’s crazier, trying to colonize Mars or trying to create an equity distributing market system to support the needs of the black community? To me, it’s felt that the latter seems crazier. Elon Musk is rewriting human history every single day, in multiple industries. But with SpaceX, it’s a big deal. For one reason only, he taught himself rocket science by reading books. Elon is not a classically trained rocket scientist or car manufacturer, but yet his visions have believers because they solve problems. They give people a chance to invest into something meaningful. In 50 years, shares in Tesla are going to be ridiculous, in the mold of Ford. Even he has detractors and people shorting his success but that hasn’t stopped him. As he said, “It’s too important to let die.” He focuses on the importance of outcomes.

Technology is sexy. Social change is not. While Elon is building tunnels, batteries, cars and rockets, I’m a few miles away from SpaceX building businesses, creating programs and roadmaps to longterm success. I’m learning from Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma among others. 100 hour work weeks for the past 5 years. I talk about redirecting the outgoing purchase power, creating a holdings company, eradicating poverty. I have a true VISION. All things more urgent than getting to Mars, but the VISION is not shiny. I can’t help but think about the opportunity being missed. Nearly everyone of the people mentioned before were tremendously challenged entrepreneurially. Called crazy, ridiculed, had to face financial ruin, all to bring a vision into reality. Plenty people missed the early opportunities presented by these innovators. This is comforting. But still not reassuring.

To me, I am a young problem solver that will one day be in a position of having changed the world. In that, I am writing my story and enduring the choppy waters on my voyage. I am no different than Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Jack Ma or Richard Branson..these are my peers. Fellow problem solvers. Those who dared to do what they felt was impossible. However popular they are, we as Blacks have few if any people in similar positions to look up to. There’s no black benchmark on innovation. There’s no Black PayPal Mafia. We aren’t investing into the infrastructure needed to develop the community over the long term. But for me, like SpaceX to Elon, my mission is too important to die. I want to be Elon in the same way we grew up wanting to Be Like Mike. I want to continue to live out my purpose and pushing the limits on Black achievement.

As of now, Elon is a digital mentor. I hope that our paths cross, as I feel as problem solvers, he’d be able to see in me and my mission what other people are missing. He knows the feeling of doing what they said can’t be done. He knows the feeling of not getting the help when he needed it. He knows that visions are achievable. I hope that the way people push for him to succeed for the greater good of us all, that people push for me to succeed. I WANT to do the work to build for our community. I WANT to do what they don’t think is possible. Not for myself. Simply because it needs to be done.

[Poem] ‘Thesis on Removal of Lesions’

This is my thesis. The removal of lesions . Scars on my back from civil disobedience. Absentminded to societal reasoning. Purging on my soul. Difficulty breathing. Breathing the oxygen that gives you life. Moral compass pointed true south. No morality. No concept of right. Blindly enticed by the shimmering light of fools gold. Walking in darkness confusing it as light. Adjusted sight to the state of blindness. Untying the knot of thought you do not. A subconscious unconscious. Avoiding the process. Backspace backspace. Deliberate deletion of the thoughts secreted from a brain once believing. That it’s deeper than what you’re seeing. Blurred lines on the images that shine. The sublime consent. With subliminal intent. Constructions they invent. Meant to discourage courage. But encourage getting lost in the mirage of facades. Direct dialect. Delayed gratification on the soul development. Common answer to do you know yourself..I haven’t tried that yet. Immersed in the diversion. Diverting from self-discovery. The necessary pain not deemed worthy. Instead you chose a state of constantly hurting. The destination is the journey. The reward of peace of mind is peace in the time when you’ve completed the climb. Mark your arrival and inscribe. I was here. The top of Mt. Self. Plant the flag. A location point if you want to get back. Or a point to be desired if you’re getting stuck in the trap. So here comes the story of the rat. Who will chew off his own leg off to get out of the trap. I wouldn’t accept the bribe of a fictitious life. Surviving in the wilderness fighting for my life. Searching for deliverance. To the space of lost innocence. I’m living it. Peaceful over belligerence. Dying inside. NO sense of pride. I tried to decide on the plain in which i’ll reside. External darkness. Seemingly harnessed. By the chain on my brain. Mental imprisonment. But this darkness is only perception. Physical death to spiritual resurrection. I was constantly tested. To see how much I was invested. The depth of my reflections. Reflected me being implanted. On earth. The seed of diving. A being thats infinite. Truly limitless. No circumstance Will limit my advance. An introspective trance is my partner as i dance. Interlocking eyes. Looking into the future at my demise. Lost by losing sight. But I wont write these word to my life. I won’t chose flight. I’ll aways ignite the fight within. And begin to overcome the obstacles. Using all steps possible. Strictly logical. No missteps. No debacle. Its not even plausible to think or speak of defeat. Because its not what I see. But I seek peace and a healthy state of being. No explanation needed. The warnings have been heeded. A believer believing in achieving. Separation from the go. Trying to spread the message to the people. That we’re all equal. The only handicap is the mind. So take one step at a time. Use the guidance from the intellectual alliance. Keep striving to be self-reliant. Avoiding the excitement of arriving at a false destination. One of self-incarnation. Fending off starvation from lack and limitation. All a self creation. This is the root of the problems we are facing. The state of empty beings. I’m releasing pretense. Gaining strength and clarity. Getting clearer. Finding the courage to look in the mirror. The hideous image shatters into pieces. I’m leaving it for you to clean this. Bare hands no Kleenex. Digest the food for thought. Because this is my thesis. The removal of lesions.

Life is Warfare. Where’s your equipment?

Life is not as random as we are led to believe, there are strategies and tools available that can assist in overall development of well-being. It’s not that life is difficult, it’s that through various forms of inequity, many haven’t developed, honed in nor passed down transformative assets in the form of life development. Life resembles war, in the ambiguous nature of it. Everyday and every circumstance is different and are specific to individuals. Patterns of response to stimuli have become habitual to many through learned behavior, rather than intentional application of values and principles. Because life is a series of choices, and will power is a limited resource that can be depleted, successful strategies and tactics should be deployed when it comes to making choices that are consistent with the direction in which you want to go. The battle we all face is choosing between short term and long term rewards linked to the goals we set for ourselves, which determine the course of action that we take in our life.

When looking at life from the perspective of war, most people are in a state of survival, from being in a state of perpetual, perceptual defense. Never having the opportunity to go on offense. The way in which we look at things play a significant role in the course of action that we decide to take. Oftentimes, we make decisions without a set of consistent guidelines, moving from day to day and circumstance to circumstance putting out fires, without ever investing into the future.

Although time is moving forward, indecision and inaction come at a great cost. Our time is not infinite, although we do not know the day nor the time of our death, it’s important to factor death into everything. Not from the perspective of dying, but the end point of a the time horizon. Every moment of our lives we are progressing forward on our time horizon, moving forward on this time horizon with inactivity and indecision, opportunity is being left behind. For every moment of indecision and inaction, that’s a moment of lack of meaningful progress. The goal is to take ground in life, by progressing yourself closer and closer to your goals. Each choice, resembling a coordinated movement, in an effort to achieve a desired outcome

On one hand you hand you have time, on the other hand, you have desired objectives. When you spend time rather than invest time, time moves forward but the desired objectives remain stagnant, creating friction from the space created between time lost and desired progress on the objective. When maximizing your time, progress, even incremental, within the moving forward of time reduces friction between time and goals. Time/Goal Friction is a battle that many lose.

There are several principles and constructs that are critical tools that we need in our tool kit.

Key Words:

Should: Something that you don’t have to do, but has proven to be beneficial to others over the course of time and inclusion of the should from a trusted source can add performance potential to life. (You should read, you should hydrate, you should workout, you should meditate)

Finished: Being finished means that the task is complete, which is different from deciding that you’re done. In order for something to be finished, all elements of the task have to be complete

(You’re not finished cleaning the Kitchen if you haven’t wiped the counters, cleaned the stove, cleaned the microwave. You haven’t finished cleaning the living room until you’ve vacuumed behind and underneath the couch, as well as the pillows.) An even more clear example of deciding you’re done versus the task being complete. When we write a paper for class, we progress through various stages, culminating in a final rough draft that will produce the finished product. If you’re draft has been edited and looked over by a peer or say the teacher, and they gave you suggestions as to what to do. The grade of the paper, reflects the quality in which you completed the task. An A means that you completed all of the objectives, and the lower the grade the more elements of the task were left incomplete. Grades then, do have value, in the ability to showcase the display of skills necessary to complete a given task. Thus school is much more important than the educational factor, it’s about learning how to complete a task. An A means that you did everything that you were asked to do, a C means you did half of what you were asked and an F means you did non of which was asked.

Tool Kit:

Future Time Perspective

Time Horizon and Mortality

Future Self Orientation




Emotional Intelligence

Elevated Consciousness





More to come from the Life is War series