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Archive for February, 2010

Eureka! I Found My Motivation!

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 16, 2010

Now that I knew my problem was a lack of motivation, I set forth trying to determine what would motivate me. Some people are motivated by “haters”; others are motivated by family. The one thing most of these forces have in common is that they are external forces. Well, I am not motivated by external forces. I didn’t grow up feeling the need to be successful in order to prove something to someone who didn’t believe in me. Nor did I feel pressure to be the future caretaker of the family. Consequently, I developed a highly independent nature, relying on research, deductive reasoning, and some common sense to influence my mindset.

The benefits of being highly independent are clear when it comes to problem solving. You learn how to become resourceful when in need of answers to puzzling questions. I began by asking my friends on social networks and in real life what motivates them. Popular responses included faith, a desire to succeed and bills. In Socratic fashion, I pursued further, unsatisfied with the responses. Every self help book, article, and quote about motivation gives those responses and still people get stuck in the mire of mediocrity. I needed to know what it was about having faith, a desire to succeed, or bills that spurred these people into action; and, not just action, but progression towards goals that they found intrinsically connected them to their inner being.

Far too many people are on paths defined for them. Maybe my Generation Y status gives me a proclivity for idealism, but I believe it necessary to a happy life. Essential to it is defining your own path that connects you to your own spirit. This is not about religion. Connecting to your spirit is about finding who you really are, what you really want to be, and developing a conviction to hurdle over any obstacle that enters your lane. Some people know this, though, and still can’t make the connection. Some people need to start at the beginning by analyzing themselves. If you don’t know what road you should be on, do the following:

  1. Ask yourself what brings a smile to your face
  2. Write it down
  3. Ask yourself what you find yourself talking about all the time
  4. Write it down

After you’ve done these things, you will see a pattern emerge. Somewhere in this list is your career. If you already know what you would do with the rest of your life but can’t get yourself motivated to do it, then you are in the position I was in not too long ago. After talking to people about their motivation and reading through multiple articles and quotations, I realized the secret to finding your motivation has nothing to do with you. Everyone who appears to have a special gift to succeed is only successful because they are motivated by their desire to be of service to others.

Cosmopolitan magazine, Sean Combs, and John Mayer all list multiple motivators. Cosmo suggests that the emotion of envy is an indicator of lack and desire. We become envious of what others have only when it is something that we desire in our own lives. This desire to have what others have is mistaken as a good motivator because it appears to be a catalyst for action. What if you feel undeserving of what others have but still want it? That feeling of being unworthy will kill any desire. In an interview with Playboy Magazine, John Mayer stated the following:

PLAYBOY: So you’ve lost the motivation of playing music to meet girls.

MAYER: If I was playing it so I could meet hot chicks, I’ve met hot chicks, quote unquote. If I was playing it to make a ton of money, I’ve made a ton of money. If I was playing it to be well-known, I am well-known. Once you put aside girls and money, it forces you to realign your motivation for being a musician. Now I’m not a have-not but a have. Which is interesting, because music has to come from a have-not sort of place. And there are many places where I have-not.

PLAYBOY: What motivates you now?

MAYER: My motivation is to prove people wrong, to confuse them. I enjoy the challenge—I must be addicted to the challenge. I’ve gone from being a musician to being a celebrity. And when people do that, their work usually suffers. There are tunes on Battle Studies that are more applicable to other people’s lives than anything I’ve ever written before. This whole time I’ve stayed vulnerable, stayed frustrated, stayed confused. This record is the trade-off to having sort of brutalized myself for a few years. So if people see that over the past couple of years I actually got a firmer grip on writing songs about the ups and downs of life, they might go, “How did he have the time to make a record? Was he writing ‘War of My Life’ in the middle of me thinking he was a douche bag? Did I ever actually know him? Maybe he’s a pretty solid guy.”

John Mayer started his career motivated by women and fame, but he has those now. Without those to serve as motivators, what keeps him interested in playing music? Somewhere in there is a desire for people to be less judgmental. I suggest John Mayer lose the motivation to prove people wrong and write music that allows him to reconnect with his true self – the good guy with the best intentions. Sean Combs has said that his mother served as his main inspiration to become the media mogul that he is today. I’d like to ask him what keeps him motivated now that he can provide everything for her.

I’ve come to realize where my motivation comes from, how I obtained it, and how I will keep it. My hope is that by reading this, you will develop your own realization. My goal is to help you get there from here.

Posted in Advice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Misdirected Anger Strikes Again

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 10, 2010

UPDATE! John Mayer didn’t call black women “dark ass hoes” but Kevin Hart did. Where’s the anger about this?

UPDATE: John Mayer tearfully apologizes for his comments

See Video below

John Mayer did an interview for Playboy Magazine wherein he said, “I think the world would be better off if I stopped doing interviews.” Well, I think it’s a good thing that he did this one because it set off a hailstorm of tweets, making the words “John Mayer” so popular it became a Trending Topic on Twitter. More importantly, it showed one flaw with American society. Many are quick to read, trust, and share thoughts from other people without critically analyzing and forming their own opinion. What set this off in my opinion? The following two tweets are from Dr. Marc Lamont Hill.

John Mayer on dating Black women: “I don’t think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist.”

John Mayer cont’d “I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock.”

I have no issue with Dr. Hill; and, I have no agenda to pursue. I feel that his tweet caused the subsequent re-tweets, which resulted in the controversy. With his reputation, many people read his tweet and stopped there without reading the article to get the entire quote, trusting him to be fair and balanced. What Dr. Hill left out was an extremely vital piece of Mayer’s message:  “I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.” Dr. Hill says it was not intentionally left out, but he believes that making such a decision signifies a decision to date women unattractive to him. There are a couple of problems with this.

Problem 1: Critical reading

The quote that was sent out was incomplete and did not paint an accurate portrayal of John Mayer’s thoughts on dating Black women. One would have only to do a close (critical) reading of his statements to see his intended message: I let myself be guided by my carnal desires without listening to my heart. I’m going to start listening to my heart.

On his site, Dr. Hill responds to the interview by saying, “I can’t say John Mayer is racist. He probably thinks he was being edgy and funny because he has a “black pass.” It’s still irresponsible.” I don’t believe he was saying that at all. In the interview Mayer says that someone else asked him how it felt to have a “hood pass”. A hood pass being a figurative statement meant to indicate that he’s been given an honorary membership into the Black community. Simply because someone else asks how it feels to have one does not mean that he accepted it and feels the right to use this privilege. How did Mayer choose to speak about this?

…it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, “I can’t really have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.’”

I believe Mayer meant that having a hood pass enables you to say the word “nigger” without opposition from the people who that term was used to abuse. Mayer acknowledges that he does not have one because, even before his fame, he has never been refused service based on a first impression. Meaning, the only people who have hood passes are the ones who, on first glance, would be immediately refused service upon entering a restaurant. Was his statement insensitive? Sure.

Problem 2: Misdirected anger

Mayer’s statement may have been insensitive, but what did he really do wrong? He stated an attraction towards a specific type of woman and made a comment about race relations. A lot of musicians do this and we in the Black community do not threaten to stop playing their music. In fact, women were the main people preventing radio stations from taking the following song off the air because of the volume of requests for it.

[Lil’ Wayne]
I like a long haired thick red bon
Open up her legs then filet mignon that pussy
I’m a get in and on that pussy
If she let me in I’m a own that pussy
Go’n throw it back and bust it open like you ‘posed to
Girl I got that dope dick
Now come here let me dope you
You gon’ be a dope fiend
Your friends should call you dopey
Tell ’em keep my name out they mouth if they don’t know me
But you can’t come and tunecha
I’ll fuck the whole group
Baby I’m a groupie
My sex game is stupid
My head is the dumbest
I promise
I should be hooked on phonics

But anyway I think you’re bionic
And I don’t think you’re beautiful
I think you’re beyond it
And I just wanna get behind it
And watch you
(back it up and dump it back-
Back it up and dump it back)

Cause we like her
And we like her too
And we like her
And we like her too
And we like her
And we like her too
And we like herr
And she like us too

I wish I could fuck every girl in the world
I wish I could fuck every girl in the world
I wish I could fuck every girl in the world

(ohh ohhh)
She be jumpin up and down
Tryna fit that ass in
Took her half an hour
Just to get that belt to fasten
All they want to talk about is partyin’ and fashion
Every single night I have a dream that I am smashin’
Them all
Young Money man this shit so timeless
And I’m in the mood to get faded so please bring your finest
And what are all your names again we drunk remind us
Are any y’all into girls like I am let’s be honest

She wants me she wants me
Cause I got it all shawty tell me what you don’t see
I will fuck with all y’all
All y’all are beautiful
I just can’t pick one so you can never say I’m choosy hoes
And Wayne say pussy pussy pussy
And weed and alcohol seem to satisfy us all
And every time I think of staying with her
She bring that friend around that make a nigga reconsider man


[Jae Millz:]
I ain’t being disrespectful baby I’m just being Millz
And I don’t know how fake feels so I gotta keep it real
I just wanna fuck every girl in the world
Every model every singer every actress every diva
Every house of diddy chick every college girl every skeezer
Stripper and every desperate housewife that resemble eva
My role model was will
So married boy I’m in the milf
It don’t matter who you is miss
You can get the business

[Gudda Gudda:]
These hoes is gods gift like Christmas
I like ’em caramel skin long hair thick ass
And I swear I’m feelin’ all y’all
I’m scrollin’ down my call log
And I’m a call all y’all
My butter pecan Puerto Rican
She screamin’ out “papi” every time a nigga deep in
And I’m about to get my Bill Clinton on
And Hilary can Rodham too boy I gets my pimpin’ on


[Mack Maine:]
And bitch I’m Mack Maine -aine -aine -aine
Sanna Lathan
Megan Good
Angelina Jolie
D Woods
For free suites I’d give Paris Hilton all-nighters
In about 3 years, holla at me Miley Cyrus
I don’t discriminate, no not at all
Kit kat a midget if that ass soft I break her off
I exchange V cards with the retards
And get behind the Christian like DR cause he are
Mack Mizzo
Cause he are Mack Mizzo

Cause we like her
And we like her too
And we like her
And we like her too
And we like her
And we like her too
And we like herr
And she like us too

I wish I could fuck every girl in the world
I wish I could fuck every girl in the world
I wish I could fuck every girl in the world

Young Mula baby

Milan Ford, the man who tried to get the song taken off the air had this to say about where “we” direct our anger,

Remember when Don Imus called the Rutgers [University] women’s basketball team a bunch of nappy-headed hos? We got CBS to remove him as a host just a few days later. Why do we limit our defense only to those who don’t look like us? As a husband and father, something in me just said we need to protect our women.

We really need to reevaluate what causes us to rise up and show our strength. The way it seems, nothing will stop Lil Wayne. Unless, of course, he raps about only wanting to *&$( every White girl in the world. Cause, you know, that would be bad.

Next: The 3rd Problem

Posted in Media Analysis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Mr. Director, What’s My Motivation?

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 8, 2010

After asking myself what was wrong with me, I sought to find the answer. This was not a quick process. I hemmed and hawed, acting with no deliberate speed. Not because I didn’t want the answer and not because I was busy with other things, but because finding an answer would bring a finality to only one situation. If successful at finding the answer, would I even know how to move forward? If I did move forward, would I move in the right path? If I took the right path, would someone be disappointed by my work? This series of thoughts repeated themselves ad infinitum in my mind rendering me paralyzed.

I was paralyzed by fear. In an attempt to get out of it, I researched what it meant to be afraid of success. I wrote a post labeling the symptoms and solutions. It is exactly 6 months after the posting of that article, and I am only a few steps closer to where I want to be. At one point, I immersed myself in work. If it had been the work that made me happy and appears to be my passion, this would have been a good thing. It wasn’t. It was the very work that I had been striving (not so well) to get away from. I wanted to be better. I knew I was smart enough to handle the work. The problem: I didn’t believe in myself.

A disconnect existed between my belief in my capabilities and my belief in myself to follow through. I wondered what made people do the work to advance themselves further in life? If everyone is motivated by something that spurs them into achieving their goals, what was my motivation? Sean “Diddy” Combs owes his motivation to his mother who barely slept working multiple jobs to take care of her children. He developed his work ethic from her, and relentlessly pursued his dreams wanting to be the source of her support. I didn’t grow up seeing someone work nonstop to take care of me. I saw someone working regular 9 to 5’s that they hated. Every job. I was not relied on for financial support. My only role was as student. My follow through came from a fear of admonition. External factors goaded my early success. The motivation never evolved into an internal force.

So, I asked myself, “What the hell is my motivation?” (Coming soon)

Posted in Advice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Am I Really Ready for Success?

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 4, 2010

Are you ready for the good life?I was talking to a friend and even through a text message my friend could tell that something was bothering me. I went on to tell how I felt trapped by my circumstances. Some might call what I am experiencing a quarterlife crisis. Circumstances surrounding the incompletion of my higher education have me living at home, working two part-time jobs, and wishing that things could have just been different. What do I want from my life? I want the success that I can see is on the horizon; and, I want it now. I want to move out. I want the life that other people younger than me have. I know I shouldn’t compare my journey to anyone else’s, but I am so so so so so so tired. Mediocrity is exhausting. Then, my friend asked me how I was going to get what I want. My answer: I don’t know.

Every day I’m reminded of how much I want my life to be different. Every time I get on the bus, watching the unwed pregnant teenagers, having to drown out the derogatory tunes emanating from the iPod 5 feet away from me, dodging the smokers’ spit puddles, I say I can’t do this anymore. Then, I wake up and do it all over again the next day. We all know the definition of insanity, right? That’s it. That’s what it is. I’m insane. I must be to want something better for myself, to be able to see it, and to not be trying ridiculously hard every day to achieve it. What is wrong with me? Then, I wondered, “Am I really ready to receive all that I want? Am I really ready for success?”

Stay tuned for the next post in this series on how I started moving towards getting what I want.

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Posted in Advice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »