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African American Basketball Believe black blogger Black History Month Blessings Blog Blogging Lessons Life Motivational Perseverance Perspective Positive Strength Thinking Thoughts Work

What LeBron James New Record Setting Milestone Taught Me

On Tuesday, February 7th, 2023, it finally happened. A convincingly unbreakable record held for 38 years was broken, and a new record was set that is on-going. If you haven’t figured it out by now I am talking about LeBron James becoming the All-Time Leading Scorer of the NBA regular season.

Basketball is my favorite sport. Although I was not good enough to make an organized team until joining a summer intramural league in college, I watched basketball on tv since maybe three (maybe before then). You could say I have been a part of basketball culture my whole life. Not just on the court, but I also follow my favorite NBA players off the court as well. And with the evolution of social media my algorithms seem to fix itself on the NBA players of old, present, and new.

Then there’s LeBron James. A man who lived up to the hype before suiting up for his first NBA career game. A man who revolutionized the game, a one-of-a-kind who will be hard to duplicate. What amazes me the most is he’s 38 years old playing like he’s 23. Very few players made it to 20 seasons. LeBron, on the other hand, is in his 20th season as we speak playing like he has 10 more in him.

What has LeBron James new record setting milestone taught me during this Black History Month of 2023? The answer comes in the form of a question. It is what are you willing to sacrifice to achieve greatness in your career, hobby, passion, etc.? You see most of us talk about it but never put in the effort to get started while some of us live in it but don’t have the discipline to get to the next level. Others have luck with little effort and plenty of representation while the remainder actually master their craft.

I have been following LeBron’s career for some time now. What he does during the offseason in preparation for the upcoming season proves why he reaps the benefits of his labor. Luck, namesake, and representation has little to do with how he made it to number 1. I see persistence, discipline, knowledge, understanding, purpose, and evolution in his possession.

This milestone has taught me no obstacle is impossible to conquer when you have the drive to succeed. Despite the odds, we can achieve the impossible whether it happens in our youth or old age. Sometimes we have to make moves that better our chances for success in this life.

Another lesson I have learned from this milestone is failure is inevitable, but no matter how many times we lose to it, we get back up and keep trying until something good happens. With each failure, we must learn and evolve. And even after victory, we keep going to setting new records for the next generation to witness. We know our limits and work with them to reach the ultimate goal of success. Maintaining that tunnel-vision focus that blocks all doubters and critics, how much are we really willing to sacrifice to be the best at what we do?

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Believe Blessings Christian Faith Healing Hope Lessons Life Motivational Opportunity Perseverance Perspective Positive Strength Sunday Thankful Thinking Thoughts

A Think Piece on Sunday #4: If I Told You One of Your Biggest Blessings was a Rejection, Would You Believe Me?

Written By:  Preston Thompson

What is a blessing? The best definition I found comes from Vocabulary.com where it defines a blessing as “…a prayer asking for divine protection, or a little gift from the heavens” (https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/blessing, 2022). In the Bible (NIV Version) 2 Corinthians 9:8 reads, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

We can never receive enough blessings. Just being alive and well is a blessing we should never take for granted. But what if I told you one of your biggest blessings in life did not come in the form of money, acceptance, or healing, would you believe me? What if I told you one of your biggest blessings once came in the form of rejection? Yes, REJECTION! Let me spell it out…R-E-J-E-C-T-I-O-N.

Rejection is not wanted, but it is a part of our lives just as much as acceptance. No one applies for anything hoping to be rejected. If we knew the outcome would result to this, the odds of us applying would be exceptionally low. Each one of us have been rejected from something in our lives. A relationship, friendship, job offer, promotion, school, anything that helps better our lives. Receiving a rejection often triggers sad and regretful emotions, the feeling of not being good enough especially at the time it happens. It can linger in our mind for days, weeks, months, even years wondering if our worth is qualified to move on to the next level in life. We put our best efforts into getting an acceptance only for rejection to tear our hopes and confidence down.

Take it from me, I have had my fair share of rejections in life even when I needed the acceptance more than the others applying for the same position. Growing up in a hometown where “who you know” had more value on receiving an offer than your skillset and character, I wondered if I had bad luck when it came down to getting offers to better my life and increase my experience. I could not get a job as a teenager despite applying to countless jobs throughout the county, I ran for leadership positions and lost by landslides, not making the cut to join teams to build teamwork experiences, etc. I started to question if I really had what it takes to make it in the corporate world. Then I graduated college only to struggle to find a job during the recession era of America. I had the experience and did everything advised to avoid being unemployed after graduation, but none of that experience helped me during that time. Rejection letter after rejection letter, I began to question if my college degree was worth the years put in since I was not receiving the benefits of earning a degree. I even questioned if I did not do enough in college. Despite the hardship of rejection, it molded me to become a stronger person. I learned valuable life lessons from the experience that high school nor college taught me. I gained skills and character that not only helped me receive a job offer, but also learn how to maintain the blessings from acceptance.

Switching gears here. Rejection can be disguised as a blessing that comes in the form of protection tying in our faith. Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) reads, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This means faith is believing something good will happen although you have no clue if that good will come. If good does not come, then faith will convince you that good will eventually come. It may not come how you envisioned it, but the rejection can protect you from the unseen dangers the acceptance never told you about. It is optimism about the future on overdrive. Protection is minimizing the chances of a tough situation that may cause hardship, hurt, or harm physically, financially, and/or mentally from happening in the future by understanding the dangers of a current event based off evidence in the past.

Like a devasting storm that destroys a town. After the storm does its damage, there is a cold period that follows. A feeling of loss and confusion looms over the town wondering how they can recover after the storm, and what will it take to improve the infrastructure. Suddenly good people come to aid of the town after receiving news of its devastation. Before you know it, the town has rebuilt itself better than before the storm. Should another storm happen, the people are more prepared than before. Rejection works in a similar matter when we take the time after it to heal and learn from it. It hurts at those moments and may leave you feeling lost, confused, and down, but there is an unexplained peace that follows.

That is why we must be very mindful of each acceptance. You ever applied for a job, worthless got the acceptance offer, started working the job and a few months in, the job does not satisfy you as it did when you originally started? At some point the money does not matter because your happiness does not align with the job. You find yourself stressed and angry about your job now that you know the truth about it. Anything that goes wrong on the job amplifies your dissatisfaction. Before you know you are back on the hunt for another job. What happened to that good feeling you had when the acceptance first came?

Sometimes acceptance can be fabricated to lure you into a trap. “Accept this job offer. You will earn a livable wage, have a great work/life balance, work with a wonderful staff, and become a valuable member of this team.” That is all you may read before signing the offer letter but read a little deeper and you may discover what is promised may not be reality. Sadly, you may not discover it until you are working at the job. And that is how acceptance can be. An outsider looks at acceptance as a better opportunity from what they currently have. Acceptance will convince you everything will be better, and you got it because you were the most qualified. If we fail to investigate what we are signing up for, we may miss signs that this acceptance is something you should pass on. Before you know it, your acceptance may cause more hardship than what the opportunity was worth.

I am not encouraging rejection. If offered an opportunity in something you worked hard for, I recommend taking the chance. What I am writing is rejection does not always mean failure or giving up on our dreams. We always see rejection as bad; it can be a blessing in disguise. Remember, a blessing does not always come in the form of money, health, or good fortune. Oftentimes, it comes to use as protection. Not just protection from harm and danger, but protection from unseen dangers that may present itself in the future or even protection for our own wellbeing. Sometimes we take on opportunities when we were not prepared and end up more stressed than before the offer was made. Viewing rejection as “God knows what’s best for us” will save us from opportunities that cause more harm than help and life lessons. Allowing rejection to work in our favor can open doors we never knew we were capable of walking through. The main goal is to not allow rejection to make us feel like we are unworthy to success. We should use it as a learning tool to understand why this opportunity that did not work is good and to learn more about ourselves and what we are capable to manage.

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Blog Blogging Hope Lessons Milestone Opportunity Perseverance Perspective Positive Sunday Thankful Thinking Work Writing

After 20 Post

Hello readers! I took a little time off from writing to be even closer to my family and friends while working at my primary. June was a month of celebrations for us, so taking a step back from writing blogs happened naturally.

I got this notification a few weeks ago thinking to myself “Me reaching 20 post? Can this be real?” And to answer my own question, yes!

What this new milestone taught me was my writing to posting evolution and producing quality work. When I started this blog I may have been too structured, meaning I only wrote and posted what I planned for. Writing a blog on paper one week, proofreading then typing to posting within a month. Calculating every step from the brainstorm beginning to the post ending only to realize when life happens, it often caused delays. Blog post kept being pushed back to later times in order to satisfy some of life’s demands and failing to meet my own dates more times than what I anticipated. Then more topics to blog about would surface in my brain. Before I knew it, I had all sorts of ideas that remained as thoughts only for some to make it to paper while others never had its title written down.

I noticed most bloggers I follow post at least 3 blogs a month or more, some one a daily or a few a week. I asked myself how can I post more? I cannot make blogging my primary at the moment, but I do want to maintain momentum in writing and catch every open opportunity to enjoy my hobby. I have an audience, no need to sit on blogs if I am trying to grow. That’s when I started to skip physical writing on pencil and paper, and started typing my blogs when I felt this think piece need to get published in a short amount of time. Free of the structured restraints I set myself up for I started to see post published within a week. Then life happens, and those free writings would stay saved on my laptop longer than I originally planned. Some of those writings would later be deleted because I found myself missing the time I wanted to post. The topics only worked for trends, i.e. something that happened during a certain time where if I waited too late to post about it, the world and my audience moved on from what was trending, and I would be posting about it when it’s no longer interesting. Aww, the struggles of juggling different lives while maintaining a little free time for myself is no joke.

Which lead me to an even quicker time of blogging that I call bypass blogging. Yes, bypass blogging (I hope no one else thought of this name although I am sure the majority of writers and bloggers do their work like this). We take our smartphones with us everywhere, right? With family and work time in addition to trying to stay healthy while getting a good night’s sleep I do not always have the time to sit down and write a blog. So when I notice I have a little free time I work on my blogs from my smartphone. I can be on lunch break at work and complete a few paragraphs of a blog, save, and finish later. Or, I can be at home or in another town without having to carry my laptop everywhere. My phone is quick and easy, and the app is there for me to type. I found myself starting a blog, completing, and posting on the same day. Quick and easy, just like how society wants everything to be nowadays. I would bypass pencil and paper just to post a quick blog

What started out as structured, by the book writing-to-blogging evolved into different styles of how to post a blog in a timely manner while living my life. I am still learning as a blogger to improve my craft. I take a free course from time to time to improve my writing skills so I can present quality blogs to this blog site. I even seek inspiration from other bloggers when they post improvement blogs for new and experienced bloggers. If I had it my way then blogging would be pencil to paper, editing to typing, final reading to posting type blogging. The process of writing on paper to publishing means more to me than a quick post. I value the time it takes to create a good quality blog rather than posting a large quantity of blogs

Here’s to 20 post! Whether I started a blog from scratch or created a quick blog in a day, I am proud of the blogs I post. More blogs will be posted in the future. Before I close, I leave this advice to anyone starting out in blogging or doing any type of work. Whether you can create 20 products in a month or a year, work at a pace that will benefit you. Sometimes we look at other’s work and become intimidated when they produce faster than we can. It will cause us to question our own work efficiencies especially when others begin to criticize our work or say we could be more productive at work if we did this better, faster, or work like their top worker. Like a wise co-worker once told me,:

“There will always be someone who works faster than you, and there will always be someone who works slower than you. There will always be someone smarter than you, and there will always be someone not as smart as you. But the most important thing you can control is you, and that’s all that matters.”

What this means is faster and smarter does not equal work proficiency. You can be the fastest worker on the job making the most of your time, and still produce poor results. Or you can be the fastest on the job and still make costly mistakes, and vice versa. Your quality of work has no correlation to the work quantity (volume) you can produce. So, work at a pace that works best for you and focus more on producing good quality work.

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Blog Blogging Hobby Hope Lessons Motivational Perseverance Perspective Positive Strength Thankful Thinking Thoughts Work Writing

After 1000 Views, What’s Next?

Written By:  Preston A. Thompson

               Once again, I cannot thank you enough for the views, love, support, and subscriptions to The Book of Think Pieces. This blogging journey has been enjoyable, and I have not hit one year yet! Sure there were some ups and downs, a few setbacks, delays, and plenty of writer’s [bloggers] blocks, but I kept going. I kept seeing the good in this blogger’s world and used it as motivation to keep writing. To Kenya, the country, thank you for your views. Then to #writerslift, #writingcommunity, #blogging, and other creative writer’s hashtags on twitter, I thank you! I did not forget about you previously.

               So, after reaching the 1000 views milestone, what is next for The Book of Think Pieces? What do I have in store for the views and subscribers?

               …Well, the answer is simple. I will keep writing, keep hustling. I will think of more content to blog about. As I mentioned in my previous blog After 1000 Views1 I have to keep blogging because I love to write and keep my main audience engaged. I may write about something that creates a debate, or I may write about my experiences. Maybe write a fictional short story or two. But most importantly, I want to do this because writing is my hobby. I want to keep being original. As I gain more followers, I want to support my fellow bloggers. Most importantly, I want to share my work through promoting online.

               I thank you all again for the views! I attempt to inspire and uplift my viewers through blogging. I also like to give my viewers a unique perspective about several topics. In the meantime, I hope you all have a great day. Stay great and stay positive. Remember, there is only one you in this world, and you only have one life to live, so make the most of you and take care of yourself along this journey we call life.

Be on the lookout for my next blog post coming soon…thank you!

Reference

  1. Thompson, P. (2022, March 26). After 1000 Views. The Book of Think Pieces. https://bookofthinkpieces.com/2022/03/26/after-1000-views/
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Blog Blogging Hope Lessons Life Motivational Opportunity Perseverance Positive Strength Vibes

Be Patient:  Your Day Will Come

Written By: Preston Thompson

              It is that time of year again. Yes, it is tax season, but I am not talking about that. It is annual raises and promotions season. This year, however, is different. You worked hard all 2021 to be the best employee you can be. You took on extra assignments, put in overtime, and went above and beyond to prove you deserve more than a raise. All year fellow employees praised your work ethic, and finally after putting in the hard work all 2021, you feel that promotion coming.

The day has finally come. You are sitting in the boss’s office as he or she tells you how great of an employee you are, and the organization is happy to have you on board. After minutes of talking, you notice the boss said nothing about a promotion. You get nervous wondering if the job is giving them out this year. Then, you receive the raise, but no promotion. What happened? You do not want to ask what went wrong because it maybe frowned upon and hinder future promotions.

Feeling a little disappointed you go home to forget about it. Remember, with The Great Resignation of 2021 and employers struggling to find help, it is great to be in an organization who gave some raise. Everything is fine, and you are at peace with it. “Next year will be better.” You tell yourself. “I need to work harder.” Then, you log into Facebook and see someone got the promotion you rightfully deserved. Mixed feelings begin to circle your mind as you replay your year at work to see where it could have failed. “Did I do something wrong? Where can I improve? I am happy for this person, but when will I get mine?”

              

If you are reading this and no one has told you, just know I am here to say that you are doing an excellent job! You, yes you, Champ! You are not the only one to get excluded from an advancement. We have all been there, overlooked sometime in our lives for someone who did not put in nearly as much effort as you did.

You are closer than anticipated. It may not be tomorrow or next year, but just know your day to excel and not fail is coming. Continue to strengthen your character and build on your growing profile. Count everyday as a victory. You woke up this morning, you are reading this blog and comprehending what I wrote. You have money in your account despite the rising prices across the US, you have health despite the doctor’s report. You are a champion of the little things that we often take for granted. Every small victory count towards a major win. So what if you did not get that promotion, just know one is on the way. Keep working hard and fitting in where you are most wanted. So what if you are living paycheck to paycheck. With hard work and a little financial management, you will one day be able to achieve financial freedom. So what if you do not have the Instagram body and likes, you are noticed by the people who know and care about you. Who cares if you did not lose thirty pounds last year. If you can walk a mile without getting tired, just know that is a small victory leading up to a 5k run.

Just remember, you are an everyday winner! No one can take that away from you. Focus on being a better version of yourself and working towards your goals. It will all pay off in the end. Trust and believe. Be encouraged!