Shoot your Shot

“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” This quote by the civil rights activist, Whitney Young, Jr., drives home the idea of staying ready so you don’t have to get ready.

There once was a young photographer. He admired the great photographers and hoped to one day be like them, if not better. He was fortunate enough to study under a master who was willing to train and help sharpen his skills. Unfortunately, his teacher only sent him to photograph small events such as birthday parties and yearbook sessions. All the student ever wanted was a chance to take on some of the more professional engagements rather than “busy work.”

After expressing his frustrations and complaints to his teacher time and time again, he had had enough. He showed up to the shop one day and slammed his equipment on his workstation. He noticed his teacher closely examining the student’s work. He’s never done this before. Unbeknownst to the student, his photographs were receiving negative feedback on the quality of the shots After nervously taking a seat across from his teacher, his teacher began speaking. “Son, to the naked eye, these look fine”. The student began smiling. The teacher continued, “…but to a trained eye, they lack focus, timing, and discipline. That’s the reason why you keep missing your shot”.

Ask yourself, “How many times have I missed my shot?” Did you overlook an opportunity because you complained when your company introduced a new process? Maybe if you had shown up 15 minutes early to work, you would have shown your manager that you’re dependable enough for an assistant manager position. Better yet, what if you had saved your income tax refund for two years and created your own business? These are only a few examples of how we miss our shots.

This story reminds us that we have to stop complaining about what we don’t have and take advantage of the few opportunities that come our way. More importantly, there’s no telling when one will come around again. That’s why we should always have a plan or goal in mind well before we can literally see the opportunity.

-Vinny

Vincent Carter
e-mail: mrvincentcarter@yahoo.com

Remove toxic people from your life

At the end of 2019, I had downtime to contemplate my life over the past year. I have been successful in many parts of my life and parts in my life where I failed. One of the areas that were most concerning to me was how I interacted in my relationships. So I want you to think and ask yourself, do good people surround you? Do the people in your life have your best interest at heart?

I realized in my personal life, some of my friendships are toxic. Some people do not want to build you up. They only want to tear you down. Do you have anyone like that in your life? I do. I decided for the year 2020; I am no longer going to keep these people in my life. Why keep people around if they’re only going to bring you down and stop you from prospering. Life is a journey, and we only have a limited time on earth, so why not try to live to the best of our abilities.

So now I want you to think, do you want to make the best out of 2020? Do you want to be successful and improve your life? Do you want to remove toxic relationships from your life? I suggest that you sit down, come up with a game plan, and move forward. It’s time to forget about your past and look towards having a bright future.

-Trevor

Staying Single Improved My Life

Last year May, I was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is still a touchy subject for me as I am not ready to thoroughly discuss it. I will get to a discussion about it sooner or later because I think it’s crucial to take care of yourself and create awareness. I was fortunate that the cancer was removed, and I am currently cancer-free. With the type of cancer I had, and the probability of it returning, I decided it was time for me to throw in the towel. Marriage and kids are out of the picture for me.

With weeks of recovery ahead of me, on my bed unable to walk, and deep in thought. While I was already on the verge of going my own way, I guess cancer push me in the right direction. I looked back at my past relationships, and I realized that I was never happy in any of my relationships. I guess I could even say I was never even content. When the relationship started to go on the rocks and then it ended for months after I was a mess. These periods of emotional instability created nothing productive. I realized that happiness cannot be found within another person. You must find happiness within yourself.

Since I have given up dating, my life has drastically improved. In the last two months, I’ve visited Germany, the Czech Republic, and Colombia. Next week I’m going to London to drink beer with my cousin for a few days. My increased travel has people thinking where I am getting all this money. While the money I make has not increased how I spend it has changed. I realized with my new circumstances. I want to enjoy life a little more and be happy. And the only way I can be happy is by doing things the way I want to do them.

So, I want you guys to think about this if something makes you unhappy stay away from it. We have a limited time on earth and why not choose to prosper then to suffer.

-Trevor

You should join Toastmasters and here’s why

About Two weeks ago, I went to my first Toastmasters meeting. They held the meeting at a church, which was a little odd for me(I’m unholy), but I still entered. It took all the strength I had to get out of bed, get ready, and show up to a meeting. I was forcing my self to go, but I had a goal, and I was going to see it to the end. As I entered, I was scared of being in a room full of strangers that I never met before and possibly having to talk to everyone. On a side note, I hate talking to strangers.

I am a bit of a procrastinator. It took me several years after hearing about Toastmasters to attend the meeting. I decided to participate in the meeting because I want to improve my public speaking. I am not scared to speak in front of crowds, but I know I am not good at it. I think this has been holding me back. Throughout my career, I noticed effective speakers always move ahead. The ability to connect with another person is essential in the workplace. If I mastered the skill and had it in my toolbox, I know it can help me move ahead in my career and even life.

The meeting had all types of people from all walks of life. A few people seemed a bit strange. I sat beside the older gentleman he had been attending Toastmasters for years, he told me once he started attending, he became hooked. Everybody at the meeting was extremely friendly and inviting. While I was a little uncomfortable, everyone tried their best to make me feel wanted.

The meeting started with group votes involving club decisions and then moved on to a quick exercise of Impromptu speaking. After the impromptu speaking, they moved on to prepared speeches. Judges critiqued the prepared speeches. The speakers ranged from beginner to expert, but everybody was incredibly supportive. After the prepared speeches, they moved on to table topics. Table topics are a random question posed to you, and you have a minute to answer. This teaches you to be sharp on your feet.

At the end of the meeting, I learned a lot of things. First, not judge a book by the cover, there was a lot of people of all ages there that night not just young professionals. I learned that Toastmasters was inviting to people of all levels. I watched a man stutter over himself, trying to get all his speech while another told his story eloquently. No matter what level you are on, they were supportive. Now I would like to pose the question to you. If you were in front of a group of strangers, would you be able to speak? Do you think being able to speak in public will help you conquer your fears? Do you want to move ahead in your career? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should check out Toastmasters. I have decided to join the group and work on my Toastmaster skills, and I hope you go to a meeting and decide to do the same.

-Trevor

Visit Toastmasters.com

Men Teach Men

Everything great had to start somewhere. And this is the beginning of Men Teach Men. If you’re reading this post to probably wondering what is Men Teach Men?

Before I get into what Men Teach Men is about, let me start by explaining, why did I start the website. I work with a lot of young men. I am finding more than ever men are losing out on many life lessons. Some of these lessons, I learned from having a caring father in my life, others I learned from experience. I wanted to create a space that promotes positivity and growth. This website will serve as a forum to introduce men to new things.

Men Teach Men is a website/blog to introduce men to new ideas.  The website will discuss a variety of subjects such as health, money, travel and several other things. I would like to use this site to promote personal growth in others and myself.

In closing, I would like to welcome you to Men Teach Men and I hope you keep visiting.

-Trevor