Thursday, September 8, 2016

Get Financially CLEAN! Two Black Guys With Good Credit (podcast review)


You often meet the most interesting people when you least expect it. You don't know why, but something about the person just clicks and makes you want to connect and exchange with them on a more insightful level. This is how I can honestly describe my meeting the lovely Ms Dionne Nichols, Program Director, Researcher, and bonafide "Lady with The Facts" of the very entertaining "TWO BLACK GUYS WITH GOOD CREDIT" podcast.  
(I couldn't make up that title even if I tried - AWESOME!)

I remember when I was a young student, barely making above minimum wage, working 10-hour shifts, 4 days a week, at a shoe factory WHILE also going to college full-time. NOT a fun time. When you factor in the long bus routes, the classes, the rent, the books...AND the very expensive tuition...not the best memories.
So, the concept of being financially conscious as well as cautious was something that I kept very close to the chest.
Personal Finance and the notion of managing your money is something that I think most people and households, still to this day, do not take as seriously as they probably should. Even having witnessed, endured, and still licking our wounds from one the most horrendous financial crises in recent history.
Things were not pretty, and despite what might seem like an improvement, excuse my being so blunt but S--T is real right now!
Consumer Debt is at an all-time high. 'Hand-To-Mouth' is the new norm for the Middle Class who are now quite frankly the new poor. Interest rates are rising. Real Estate is more expensive and, if you listen to episode 3 of the podcast, funeral costs are not cheap.

This is, in my opinion, why the TWO BLACK GUYS WITH GOOD CREDIT podcast and the CLEAN financial literacy program serve as such a powerful and exemplary statement in their mission to not only educate but empower our youth through their workshops and the rest of us through their engaging episodes.
I was so moved by what this colorful group of amazing individuals was doing that I made it my daily duty to listen to the entire first season of the podcast on my morning commute.
What a treat!
With a no-nonsense, empathetic, often humorous, edgy and always knowledgeable exchange of facts, anecdotes and solid advice, hosts Shaun & Arlington, along with the rest of the awesome podcast crew, have put together what I believe to be a really fun and approachable program. 
I'm a podcast fiend. And one thing I always look for in my programs is authenticity. Whether you're talking about stamps or dog shows, show me you're authentic and that you believe in your content. 
Taken from their website, podcast described as follows :

"Two Black Guys with Good Credit is a show about two black guys from Canada living in the US for over 20 years - Arlington in Los Angeles and Shaun in Brooklyn. Both are business owners with successful track records and, of course, good credit! Each week they will bring you their ‘straight talk’ and at times humorous perspective on making, managing, and protecting your money.
Two Black Guys with Good Credit will educate, entertain, and inspire you to achieve YOUR financial goals."

Check. The passion is palpable and the mission is clear. And they deliver. I've thoroughly enjoyed the first season as they've managed to dumb-down and extract some the essential notions of personal finance and make them not only accessible but appealing to their audience. They make no apologies for their bluntness but in no way did I find their commentary off-putting or condescending. The aim is to educate and empower and I believe the team is doing a terrific job.

I do hope you'll give them a listen and show your love and support in any which way you can.

You can start by dropping them a line at: 
twoblackguysgoodcredit@financiallyclean.com 
or you can follow them on the usual platforms such as FacebookTwitter & Instagram.

Podcast episodes available directly on their website and also via iTunes or Stitcher.

Til next time dear friends, achieve your Destiny and #StayAwesome

Oli



Monday, August 29, 2016

So you wanna do a Spartan Race? Here's How (w. Ludovic Godefroy)

I can tell you I'm really excited to share this second episdoe of the Awaken The Awesome odcast with you guys. Not just because I have yet again lived to to tell the tale of yet another engaging and grueling Spartan Race, but I get to sit down and take a look back at the whole ordeal and acutally smile, not sure if it's the euphoria or the pride.
Either way, this is a special one because my brother-in-arms and fellow Spartan Racer/Teammate Ludovic Godefroy joins me as we do a Post-Mortem "What were we thinking?"-type discussion on the dos, donts, whats and watch-outs on running your first Spartan Race - which you should.
An engaging conversation that I hope will help demystify certain urban legends but also serve as measure of precaution and planning for newcomers. Empowering and engaging, we had a lot to discuss.
Ludovic is a certified kinesiologist, personal trainer, motivational speaker, father, husband and all-around awesome gent. Just listen to the audio about how he helped me conquer what I identified as my greatest obstacle for this year's course. You can follow him on Instagram as well as Twitter.
Direct link to downloading the audio version available here
(Do a 'Right-Click' - then select  "Save Link/Target As...')

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you're liking or disliking the program so far. I'm getting ready to launch some pretty nifty features within the coming weeks so every little piece of constructive feedback is a welcome one.

Go create your destiny and until next time ... #StayAwesome

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Again.

Rude awakening this morning?
It's ok.
We're human.
We're works in progress.
Now, let's get you psyched.

Rub the crust out of your eyes.
Do a few pushups.
Grab a pillow, put it against your face and scream in it. Again.
Good.
Stretch to the ceiling. Again.
Good.
Lean over to touch your toes. Again.
Good.

Now...
Take a second to breathe.
Breathe.
BREATHE, dammit!
Let the air in...hold it. Exhale.
Again.
Close your eyes and acknowledge this precipus gift that is air. This precious often overlooked, mishandled, misused, essential gift...that is gettimg you emergized, fueling ypur blood cells, purifying your body with every...single... breath.
You're breathing.
You're alive.
You exist.
You matter.

Wow.

Go impact the world, you Awesome one.

#StayAwesome

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Today

Here's a thought -

What if...today, you held back on the subtle reflex to go "...oh well..." and replace it with "Hell Yea!"?

What if...today, you looked at a stranger with a genuine smile and in you heart of hearts, wished them a good day?

What if...today, you forgave yourself for your own insecurities and shortcomings and embraced your singular traits and strenghs?

What if...today, when someone pays you a compliment, you actually hold back on the "...you're just saying that..." and actually thanked them for the kind words and bidding them words of appreciation of your own?

What if ...today, you held back on killing those precious brain cells of yours by : overthinking, overstressing, self-deprecation, complaining, whining, sighing...and instead took a second to acknowledge the subtle yet resounding fact that you're.still.here...despite it all...

What if...today, you didn't text or WhatsApp or whatever and actually called someone(there's an app for that...they usually call it <Phone>) and inquired about their day.?..you'd be surprised how that throws most people for a loop.

What if...today, you thanked the Universe/God/Lord Buddha/L Ron Hubbard...whatever you believe in...for giving you something to believe in?...I'm sorry, not too sound all metaphysical...but you gotta a pretty cocky bastard to not be amazed by the sheer magnitude of the fact that we are a bunch of living organisms on floating ball in an endless sea of stars and comets...and think that it's all just part of the natural order of things...

What if... today, you did not ask for permission but simply took action?

What if...today, you focused on your goals instead of aimlessly roaming about both physically and mentally?

What if...today, you actually chose for they day to be different?

What if...today, you applied your energy toward empowering your mind instead of intoxicating it?

What if...today, you embodied the personal truth that you seek?

What if...today, you set a course towards your own definition of Awesomeness?

What if...today, you believed?

Tell me - really...what if?

#‎StayAwesome‬

Monday, August 15, 2016

Go to your Desitny




Listen...it begs repeating...but you are not owed anything.
You are not entitled to anything.
Nobody owes you anything. You don’t have some kind of privilege beyond everybody else.
You...yes, YOU are the sole architect of your own destiny.
I have a cousin with whom I have been exchanging this thought/parting for years and, for some reason, I never truly embraced it to its fullest until some years later : "Go to your Destiny".
We don't say 'goodbye' 'ciao' 'later dayz' or whatver...just "Go to your Desitny" - In doing so, we acknowledge the incredible power and influence we have on the the Universe pulling us and guiding in the direction the we choose... You, yes YOU, have the Awesome potential to WAKE THE F--- UP and get S--- done! Enough with your sob sotries of being too tired, too broke, too stupid, too incompetent, too sad, too depressed, too disheartened, too...little...
Enough already! You are not owed anything. The Universe will only give you what you have the audacity to ask and the tenacity to earn. No exceptions. Whatever your circumstance, it is not always your fault, but it is certainly your responsibility to rise and overcome. Your destiny is yours to have, to hold, to embrace, to celebrate and replicate. Remember that 

 #StayAwesome

Friday, August 5, 2016

Conquest

I will be curious
I will be anxious
I will be envious
I will be motivated
I will walk
I will crawl
I will run
I will skip
I will limp
I will stop
I will breathe
I will pace
I will rest
I will assess
I will doubt
I will fear
I will question
I will (want to) cry
I will calm
I will think
I will reason
I will choose
I will rise
I will be patient
I will draw strength
I will ache
I will bleed
I will strain
I will be tempted...

but, no matter what...

I will not quit.


I will conquer.


AROO.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

On Relationships - Roadblocks, red flags and mishaps

My wife and I have been married for a little over 6 years now - but we've actually been a couple for 12.

Yea.

What I love about our dynamic is the effort we individually put into keeping our communication as rigorously honest as possible. (I actually got that term from a very good movie, Top Five with Chris Rock & Rosario Dawson - you really need to check it out. Please do.)
Don't get me wrong - it hasn't always been smooth sailing as relationships, and the people in them, can and do evolve. And keeping up with these changes can often lead to some uncomfortable, if not upsetting chapters.
Fortunately, we've managed to stay strong and committed to each other and keep a steady course that has brought our fair share of fun and insightful conversations and memories.
In this post, I wanted to share 2 very insightful episodes from two of my favorite podcasts namely 

Lewis Howes' The School of Greatness 



and Brett McKay's The Art of Manliness



These recordings truly go into great depths of analysis and commentary about the current state of modern relationships and I was surprised to find myself taking notes as lightbulbs were lighting up left and right.
Some really thought-provoking insight into how we relate to each other as a species in the realm of relationships, be it a fling, a serious relationship, open marriage, monogamous or otherwise...

Certainly some rather uncomfortable yet inspiring content as both emphasize that strong, successful and passionate relationships don't just happen by sheer luck or coincidence, but rather(and I believe this to be true for any endeavour you choose to take on) the result of conscious, proactive and collaborative engagement of two people who chose to make something awesome happen.

I hope you'll enjoy listening to these exchanges as I certainly. Be sure to share and show some love to the respective providers as they truly do appreciate and deserve your support.

Do take care.

#StayAwesome

Oli

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ep. 001 - So I got rear-ended.


Direct link to downloading the audio version available here
(Do a 'Right-Click' - then select  "Save Link/Target As...')

Monday, February 8, 2016

Good Life Project (Podcast) - Sherry Turkle "Owned by your phone? -

Really enjoyed this conversation from this podcast I started listening just this morning.
The podcast is called the Good Life Project and is hosted by Jonathan Fields.
I'm a podcast fiend, maybe because I enjoy conversation and the intimacy brought on by the medium which, in my honest opinion, has simply become and can be very well considered as the natural organic evolution of Radio.
I often gravitate and am draw towards content that seeks to elevate and add value to my personal quest of being better everyday - and this certainly hit the spot.
A powerful and insightful talk about the pervasiveness of mobile phones and the increasingly concerning social shift brought on by these devices, in regards to relationships, conversations and expectations.
Seems like beating on a dead horse, right? It certainly would seem that way. But, in this time of split-second attention spans, digital dominance, information overload and skewed social norms...I think it's important to be mindful of our actions and thought processes in order to make the necessary adjustments as we, and our loved ones, can certainly benefit from a knock on the head wrangling us back to our senses.
Now put down your phone - and enjoy the conversation, as I surely did.



 #StayAwesome

Oli.