Me on a Soapbox: Love advice from J-Lo

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 Jennifer Lopez  actually said something that got me thinking.

I wrote about this in my other blog Pop Culture Inspirations (shameless plug).

 On a lazy day off I was watching J-Lo’s Behind the Music on TiVo. They were talking about her life and many loves: Diddy and Ben Affleck, etc. They end on how she’s finally found lasting love with husband Marc Anthony. Then she said something so profound. I’m paraphrasing, but basically she said being with him makes her want to be a better person and thus being with him makes her better.

It was an a-ha moment for me. This is what I’ve been doing wrong. Find a person you love and that makes you a better person. She didn’t say find the guy with the most money or find the sexiest guy. She said find the guy who makes you want to be better.

 This woman has dated  all types of men from the rich and powerful (music  mogul Diddy and actor/writer Ben Affleck) to regular guys (waiter Ojani Noa and backup dancer Cris Judd). She has dated across racial lines (black, white, Latino).

 I’m by no means a relationship expert, in fact I’m the queen of bad relationships. I do however know this is a method I have not actively tried. I opt for the guy who is the cutest or the most fun or who has the best swagger. None of those things have amounted to diddly squat and here I am 30-years-old, perpetually single, and the only one of my siblings not to give my parents a grandchild.

 I guess the point I’m making is sometimes we have to go outside of our comfort zone to get something we’ve never had before. My most recent relationship was with a guy who was a teacher and was pursuing an advanced degree. He had a job where he was making a contribution to society. He was making himself better educated. It made me realize I could be doing more. It made me want to be more.

 Insanity is doing the same thing and getting a different result. Maybe finding love is doing something so totally different and being open to the possibilities.

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…presenting the Lil Wayne Guide to Success in Life

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 Ok, so Thanksgiving morning before the big feasts, I’m scanning the channels and come across Behind the Music: Lil’ Wayne.

 I like a few of his songs, but would hardly call myself a fan. But those Behind the Musics are pretty good and there was nothing else on but the parade.

 But by the end of the hour I was oddly inspired. I mean to look at this guy

 Yes this guy and see anything inspirational was beyond me, but it proves you can’t always judge a book by its cover.

 This guy was a star student in school. This guy is a self-made millionaire and he did it by maximizing his talent, not by doing anything illegal. Knock him if you want but how many of us can honestly say that we’re making millions of dollars doing what we love. That’s what I want to do. That’s what we all should be doing.  So I present the 10 success lessons I learned from watching Lil Wayne’s Behind the Music: 

  1.  Find something you’re passionate about and make it central in your life. Lil Wayne started battle rapping on corners when he was 9 years old. He was competing against and beating guys twice his age. Music was always a central part of his life and look at the results.
  2. Don’t let your current circumstances dictate your future. Lil Wayne grew up impoverished in a rough area of New Orleans. He didn’t know his real father and his stepfather was gunned down. He personally survived being shot. He saw a world beyond that life and went for it. Many people get stuck in their surroundings and don’t strive to do more.
  3. Be Confident. It takes some balls to call yourself the Greatest Rapper Alive, but Lil Wayne declared that then went on to make it happen. Whether you agree or disagree with his greatness, he’s definitely one of the best-selling rappers alive.
  4. Strive for the impossible. When Lil Wayne wanted to boost his career he set a goal and over the course of about a years time appeared on more than100 albums, songs, and mixed tapes. He was everywhere. Who else can say they’ve done that?
  5. Try to be better than the people you look up to. Lil Wayne admits that two of the defining moments in his career involved being acknowledged by his idol Jay-Z and then beating him out for a Grammy award. In one of the programs best quotes he called winning a Grammy on a scale of 1-10 a “10,000.”
  6. Get rid of the things in life that bring you down. For Lil Wayne it was writing down lyrics. He purged all of his written material in one recording session, producing a 35-minute song. After that he never wrote down another lyric.
  7. Be yourself no matter how eccentric that is.  Lil Wayne is definitely an individual. He was wearing skinny jeans when everyone was wearing them baggy. He doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not. He’s strange but he is who is. You gotta respect that.
  8. Fake it ’til you make it. He called himself the Greatest Rapper Alive and is slowly making that come true every day.
  9. Give back. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans Lil Wayne and his family were living safely in Miami. He, didn’t just send money, he personally went back home and organized food and shelter for the people in New Orleans who were in need.
  10. Have fun. Lil Wayne is always the life of the party. He’s got money and women and something in his cup that he won’t identify and he’s having a ball. You have to work hard and play hard. That’s life and that’s how you become successful.