Archives For Personal Growth

HEY JADA PINKETT SMITH

If you’re keeping up with the news and this year’s Academy Awards then you’ve heard that actors Jada Pinkett Smith and actor / director Spike Lee have have both decided to boycott the awards because of their distaste for the “all-white” list of nominees.  These two are very passionate about this and it’s evident through their Twitter accounts and other social media posts and videos.

There are zero black nominees in this year’s Oscars and I can see where suspicions can be raised and why the black community would be upset.  I need to check the list to see if any Latinos were on the list, though Sylvestor Stallone’s Italian roots might qualify and nullify any reason for me to be upset.  Regardless, I do have a message for Jada and Spike and by some off chance I hope that they get this very important message because I feel that they can be a lot more effective by doing something other than boycotting and choosing not to “watch” the Oscars.

JADA, BOYCOTTS NO LONGER WORK.

This is a different generation with different priorities and the attention span of a squirrel trying to cross the street.  We’re not in the 50’s or 60’s and boycotting is no longer an effective option.  I’m sorry but no one will miss you at the Oscars or be sad that you’re not there.  This would be the case with many other actors who might choose to skip out on the biggest entertainment awards event in the world and I feel that you two are wasting your time with your choice of strategy.

Your voices have been heard and this story is picking up traction by the minute.  Just this morning it was being covered on all of the morning shows and many radio talk shows are discussing the issue.  You’ve shed light on the Oscars and I’m 100% certain that you’ve already attracted more viewers than any other year with your message.  The last I checked, Chris Rock is Black and being that he’s the host for the Oscars this year will only cause people to want to watch even more just to see what he might have to say about this.

REGROUP AND PUT A PLAN TOGETHER

At some point, with or without seeing this message, I hope that you would come to realize how ineffective a boycott will be and you’ll come up with a better strategy.  In fact, I’ll give you a list of things that you should probably do and if you do any or all of these your impact will be much stronger and will surpass you and Spike watching Netflix Sunday night rather than tuning into the Oscars.

  1.  Retract your boycott and confirm your attendance to the Oscars.  This will require you to both put your pride down, but if you don’t you will both kick yourselves in the ass the Monday morning following the awards, as you realize that you could have handled this differently.  By doing this all eyes will be on you and Spike, mainly you though because I’m sure many designers will gladly give you an amazing dress to wear, knowing that cameras will be snapping away once you hit that red carpet.
  2. Refine your message and put a solid plan/campaign together.  Brand your message and contact me so that I can help make this happen.  Your desire to gather an army of supporters will be much greater by doing this and since everyone is going to be watching the Oscars anyway you can help lead your “army” from the television screen.
  3. Blast your message to the world in the most effective way possible.  With a solid plan and branded campaign you can gather much more support and never think of boycotting again.  Boycotting died a long time ago and there are a lot more effective ways to gather support for a cause.  I would have never even noticed the lack of Black nominees this year so your voice is already being heard.  Be strategic and smarter about the way you deliver your message and the world will listen.

SEE YOU AT THE OSCARS

I always forget about the Oscars until it’s been on for about an hour and then catch the tail end of the show.  Yes, it’s a very long and boring show but I think I’ll watch it this year from beginning to end while folding laundry or watching some paint dry.  If Chris Rock doesn’t joke about this issue I’m going to kick his ass and write him a letter as well.

Jada, Spike, get your asses to the Oscars and be effective.  You can do a lot more “damage” by choosing to be present rather than being absent.  I’d love to help be your PR person as you figure this out so contact me and let’s do this.  I wear a 42M tux jacket, a 34 waist, and 10.5 in fancy shoes in case your designers ask for my size and measurements.

Good luck with everything.  Please tell Will Smith I said hello and that he should do a Fresh Prince reunion.  See you at the Oscars.

@hectorgarciahtx

 

BLACK LEADERS, PLEASE STAND UP.

(Original post in December 2014)

A few years ago during one of the most polarizing presidential elections of our time, I stood firm against a man that many were rallying behind with sheep like tendency.  He came out of no where and was promising the world, change, and many very misguided people worshipped him as if he were Jesus reincarnated.  I saw right through that man and was very vocal about my distaste for what I already knew were empty promises and politics in their purest form.  To date I’ve been proven right by my suspicions, with no real “change” taking place in this country.

With 2 more years left in Obama’s administration we’re experiencing a division in this country that we haven’t seen since the Rodney King situation in 1992.  Tensions are hot and heavy and the distance between each situation is becoming shorter and shorter.  Not too long ago people were protesting the Trevon Martin case, and just a few months later the protesting continues with two or three “similar” situations back to back, a black person being killed by a white one.  The latest is the questionable death of Michael Brown, a young man who was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer after having been attacked by Brown and resisting arrest, followed by the death of Eric Garner, a man who resisted arrest and was choked out by a police officer, resulting in his death.  Both are situations that have been hyped by the media and race baiters as racially driven killings.

Obama has provided “speeches” in regards to a couple of these situations but as with anything that he does, there is no power in his words and it’s very evident.  He has lost his luster and no one is paying attention.  As America’s first “black” president his own people don’t even care what he has to say and they’re angry.  If you pay attention and watch closely, the protests and rioting is not only a race of people that is angry with the system, but it’s a cry for real CHANGE, something this president never gave us.

WHERE ARE OUR REAL LEADERS?

With every riot and protest, I ask the same question in my various social media platforms, and that is “Where are the real leaders?”.  And to be more specific, my question is in regards to Black leaders.  Where are they?  The black community has to settle for poor excuses for leadership such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and in Houston we have the ridiculous and very angry Quannel X.  But where are the true leaders who can speak for the black community and give some direction and leadership to a people that are crying for change.

Why am I calling for Black leadership only?  It’s because the situations at hand have become about race, and the Black community won’t listen to anyone else.  They want answers and they want to be led, whether they know it or not, however there is no one leading.

There’s a young black man that I follow on Facebook who goes by the name Prince EA.  This person is very eloquent and very well spoken, sharing some very deep wisdom on a weekly basis.  When I first came across one of his videos I immediately felt inspired and I was like “this is the voice and message that we need.  We need leaders to speak truth the way this young man does.” His message is powerful and it appears as though his heart is in the right place, with every message communicating a very sincere love for people and the world around him.  It’s a voice like his that I feel could help produce real change and I can only assume that this is a voice that the Black community wants to hear.  But what do i know, right?  I’m just another minority wanting something better than what I see in front of me.  You can follow Prince EA on Facebook.

YEAH, I KNOW, I’M NOT BLACK

I will never pretend or assume that I understand the struggles of the Black community.  Even as a latin man and minority, I will never experience the racism or discrimination that Blacks have to endure or have endured since the early 1600’s here in America.  What I do know however is what I see in front of me, and that is a country that is bleeding and hurting and crying out for direction and leadership.  I see a community, a race, that wants justice, a race that needs real leadership to rise up from within and guide them.

Where are the Prince EA’s?  Where are the Martin Luther King Jrs?  If you’re out there, please stand up.  Speak up.  Your people need you.  They want you.  This country needs you.  Please stand up.

@hectorgarciahtx

A Lesson in Love:  Part 2

Christmas Day has come and gone but because Christmas is more of a season rather than one day, we still have a full week of celebration to take advantage of.  No one knows the exact day that Jesus was born but as I stated in Part 1 of this series, history outside of the Bible supports that Jesus was a real man, with a real message that walked this earth and changed the world.  His impact is so much so that the entire world celebrates a season that exists only because of his birth and not to mention that his birth and existence also affected our entire dating system i.e. BC (before Christ) and AD (after his death).  One cannot celebrate this season / holiday without acknowledging this man and his message and though many try, kicking and screaming, it’s almost impossible to do unless you take a plane trip to the desert and hide for a couple of months.

At the core of Jesus’ message to the world is LOVE and if you read and filter everything that he taught through that love, it would all make a lot more sense and provides a lot more meaning.  When Jesus came onto the scene the area that he lived in was looking for a new leader and king and Jesus appeared to be the perfect candidate.  He had the opportunity to take on a political position of power and strength but that’s not what he was here for.  His purpose was to “love” a world that was hurting, a world that was not in need of more politicians but one that was in need of healing and direction.  He was hear to give the world what they needed, not what they wanted and that message of hope and love is something that we all need.

There’s a scripture in the book of Mark that says:  “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45).  Again, if you filter just this one verse through “love”, then you would see that the message here is to put others first and serve others more than ourselves.  This is not just advice for different instances, but it should be a lifestyle.  Could you imagine everyone living a life of humility focused on putting others first?  What kind of world would this be if we walked like this?

This is why Christmas is so special, it’s a time of the year that makes people want to give and do “good things”.  There are so many organizations that exist simply for the purpose of giving to the world this time of year.  For example, one organization gives away hundreds of brand new bicycles to children of low income families, which is awesome, but why can’t we do something like this year round?  Why do we only serve huge Thanksgiving meals to the needy and hungry in November?  Why do we only buy gifts for our family and friends because a once a year holiday dictates that we do?  When was the last time that you gave a gift to someone for the hell of it, simply because?

“Walking in love” and “serving” one another is a lifestyle, and the idea of Christmas should be year round.  Let the new year involve lots of serving and laying your life down for your friends, your family, co-workers, and even people you don’t know.  Let the next time you buy someone a gift be for absolutely no other reason than simply cause you were thinking of that person or wanted to show your appreciation for them in your life.  I personally feel that if I always walked in love with the goal of putting others first, I would have been spared many mistakes I’ve made in life over the years.  I can only learn from those experiences and do better today and tomorrow.  I will choose to follow my own advice and walk in love and live like it’s Christmas everyday.  Trust me, serving others in not just for those receiving, but ultimately it will benefit you more than you know.

Merry Christmas.

@hectorgarcia

 

 

 

HECTOR’S SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS: PART 4

Today is the last day in the series that I’ve been writing called Hector’s Search for Happiness.  I hope you guys have enjoyed it and that somewhere in this stuff you’ve found something to take to heart and chew on.  My ultimate goal in this and in anything that I write is to encourage and build you up.  My life isn’t awesome everyday by any means and I have my share of daily struggles, but just like anyone else I want to be happy and I want my life to matter.  Your life matters and I believe that every person on this earth has a purpose.  Figuring out that purpose should be your daily mission and in doing so I feel that you will learn a lot about yourself, which brings me to my first list for today which is Loving Yourself.

HAPPINESS IS LOVING YOURSELF

I’ve traced my life back as far as I can remember and I don’t think that I ever really struggled with self esteem issues.  I don’t feel like I’m a great looking person and I do have about 10 – 15 lbs to lose around my waist line, but my confidence doesn’t come from how I look, it’s just the way that I’m wired.  For some, self confidence will come naturally while for others it has to be taught and developed.

If there was one ultimate source for happiness I feel that it will come from how you feel about yourself.  This can come from how you view yourself physically to how you feel about your purpose in the world.  This morning the comedian Amy Schumer was on the Today show and she talked about how walking in self confidence has not always been easy but that she has found her stride and she is doing what she can to encourage others.  In Amy’s words she’s not a “skinny” person and in one of her comedy bits she describes what goes on under her clothes as a lava lamp, where everything just moves around all lazy and slow, waiting to be released with the unzipping of the back of her dress.  It’s great that she can make fun of herself through her comedy and she does a great job of using humor to lift people up.

If we can learn anything from Amy it’s that size doesn’t matter and it’s all about what’s in your heart.  Who you are as a person is more about what’s going on in the inside that what the world sees on the outside.  I have encountered some very shallow people in my life who are beautiful people physically, but unfortunately lack substance and heart.  While on the other end I know people who some may say are overweight and not that physically attractive yet they have hearts of gold and are making a difference in the world.  Those are the people that I want to know and those are the kinds of people that we can learn from.

Focus on finding your place in this world and surround yourself with “beautiful” people with “beautiful” hearts.  Build one another up daily and in doing this it will undoubtedly help you with your own self confidence.  Also, don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others on social media, which can be one of the biggest confidence killers.  Know that everything that we see online is not the real world and your friend’s photos of how awesome their life is and how happy they are on vacation or at the beach is not the whole story.  If you’re not careful you’ll find yourself comparing your life to others and beating yourself up because you can’t post amazing before and after fitness photos from your bathroom.

HAPPINESS IS RIDING MY BIKE

When I was 12yrs old and we moved to Spring Branch into some huge new apartment complex called Afton Village.  I give the apartment name because I would love to hear from anyone who lived there as well back in the day.  That place was seriously it’s own little city and I have some great memories from that one year of living there.  One of my fondest memories was seeing BMX freestyle in person for the first time in my life.  I remember walking through the complex and being stopped in my tracks as I saw someone playing around on their bike about 100 yards away.  I was mesmerized by what I was seeing and it changed my life forever.  Not long after seeing this my mom bought me my first BMX bike and I rode the hell out of that thing.  I slowly began trying to do whatever tricks I saw that guy do at Afton and by ninth grade I become one of about 20 other BMX flatland riders in Houston.

I can truly say that my bike changed my life.  I loved riding and it was my passion throughout high school and I feel that it kept me out of a lot of trouble.  Me and my friends spent hours and many late nights on the weekend riding in parking lots and learning new tricks.  I remember coming home from school, not being able to wait to get on my bike and hit the park tennis courts to master that one trick that I had been trying to learn for the past 2 – 3 months.  I had found a passion and something I truly loved and it made me happy.

There were several years in the 90s where I abandoned my BMX bike and got into mountain biking and even had a short stint as an aggressive inline skater.  LOL, yes, I skated and I would have to say that I became very good at it, buut by 1998 I caught the BMX bug again and picked up where I left off in 1990.  Since then I haven’t slowed down and riding my bike and being involved in the cycling community is a passion of mine that makes me happy.  I’m sure I’ll be riding around this weekend so keep an eye out for me and don’t run me over.

Friends, love yourself, love others, find your passion and run with it, do what you love and do whatever it takes to be where you’re supposed to be, don’t settle for anything less than what brings true happiness and change the world around you.  And if you don’t own a dog or a bike, get your ass out there this weekend I find both.  That will be your homework for the weekend.  Trust me, you’ll be a very happy person by Monday.

Happy weekend.

@hectorgarciahtx

 

 

 

 

HECTOR’S SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS:  PART 3

I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s list.  If you’re just now jumping into this series, please be sure to start from the beginning, which you can do by visiting Part 1 of the series.  This list and series is fun and it stems from my love for a movie, but in the end I want everyone to know that the items in these lists that will have true impact and value in your life are the ones that have to do with your heart.  In yesterday’s blog I talked about forgiveness for example, and if you’re walking around with unforgiveness in your heart, you shouldn’t even waste your time with anything else.  That heart issue needs to be taken care of first and foremost, and until you do, everything else that you do is an attempt to fill a void.  Yes, I started off deep this morning.  Just wanting to keep you on your toes.

HAPPINESS IS GIVING

You can tell a lot about a person by two things:  One, by their love for dogs / animals, and two, how generous they are.  You may have all heard the phrase, “It’s better to give than to receive”, which stems from Christian teaching, but this very simple instruction is so true.  And I’m not talking about giving your loose change to a homeless guy on the corner, I’m talking about real giving that comes from your heart that has the ultimate goal of making someone’s life a little bit better.  I’m talking about giving that takes effort, that causes you to step out of your comfort zone and truly impact a person’s life.

About 10 years ago I remember gathering a bunch of friends over with the idea of hitting the streets of downtown and feeding the homeless.  A few of us had the idea of doing something good and making sandwiches and giving out water sounded like a great idea, especially if we did it on our BMX bikes.  We spent some time making about 50 or so awesome sandwiches, loaded them up in our backpacks, and at dark all 10 of us hit the streets.  We split up into teams and had a great time bringing smiles to some very hopeless faces.  We weren’t handing out $100 bills but that little sandwich and water was sure to brighten up someone’s night.  It felt good to know that we were doing our part and from my perspective, watching these younger teens taking time out on a Saturday night to give back made me happy.

There are needs all around us and we don’t have to wait until Christmas to give back.  One thing that I learned years ago was that if you’re having a hard time or feeling down, one of the best things you can do is take the focus off of yourself and look for a need and meet it.  Even if it’s for a brief moment, your act of giving will make you feel awesome, especially if it’s something that will evidently make someone else happy.

HAPPINESS IS BEING WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE

One of the first points I shared in yesterday’s post was “Happiness is doing what you love” and part of doing what you love is enjoying where you’re at.  You don’t have to work for yourself to “do what you love”, and you can be one of the happiest people on the earth while working for someone else.  The key is to be where you’re supposed to be and thrive there.

Many people wake up everyday and show up to a job that they hate or don’t feel is where they want to be.  They have to put food on the table however, so some have no choice but to continue showing up, and simply “showing up” everyday can’t be a happy situation.  Where you spend 8 hours of your day can make all the difference in how happy you wake up in the morning or how happy you are when you come home.   And if you can’t get up in the morning and look forward to those next 8 hours of your life, then I suggest you change it.  Figure out what will make you happy and go there.  Find it.  It’s out there.

The same goes for relationships.  Many people will stay “stuck” in a relationship that doesn’t feel right, but out of a desire for comfort or security they will stay in something that really isn’t a happy place for them.  You hear about these situations all the time, and we see this played out in movies even more.  One example is the 2001 movie Serendipity, starring John Cusak and Kate Beckinsale, a story about couple that reunites years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they’d end up together.  After a few years of first meeting, both characters find themselves unhappy in their relationships, longing to find one another.  There’s a very evident desire to go after love and not settle for anything less and after realizing that they are “not where they’re supposed to be”,they eventually find each other at a New York ice rink, a place they hung out at when they first met.

You would think that people would “get it” but many don’t.  Many people don’t know how to follow that natural feeling inside that says “Hey! You’re not supposed to be here, and you will continue being unhappy until you make a change”.  If that’s you and you feel this going on inside of you, please head that “little voice”.  It’s there for a reason and I believe that it can be trusted when it comes to this.  No one will ever be happy being where they’re not supposed to be, so don’t be there.

HAPPINESS IS PUPPIES

To end on a lighter note, one place that I will always want to be is chillin next to one my awesome little dogs.  One of the newest members of my family is a little MaltiPoo named Pups, which is short for Pupsicle.  I adopted her over a year ago and her original name was Biggie Smalls Smalls, but over time it changed and the name Pups stuck.  She is an amazing little puppy and without fail, she cracks me up everyday.  All she has to do is look at you and you can’t help but smile or want to pick her up and squeeze her.  The photo above is Pups when she was just a few months old.

One of her favorite things to do is steal socks and every morning I will find 3 or 4 socks laying in the living room.  Once my socks hit the floor in my bedroom, she grabs them and takes them away.  I’m not sure what her fascination is with socks but seeing them all over the house makes me smile.  Her and my other two awesome dogs really do make me happy.

I hope you all have a great day today and that what I shared resonates with you somehow.  We have 100% control of our lives so remind yourself of that today and know that you can dictate your happiness.  Figure out what makes you happy and go after it.  And if you have a dog waiting for you at home, be sure to squeeze the hell out of him or her when you see them later today.

Until tomorrow.  Be Happy.

@hectorgarciahtx