When you’re having a great day, and everything is going right it’s easy to hit the gym or knock out that report for work. Hell, even traffic doesn’t suck. That’s because you’re looking through a perspective that has excitement, positivity, and momentum keeping it clear. What about when things get hard, or you lose something or someone that is near and dear to your heart? What happens when all that momentum comes crashing to a halt and those all too familiar negative emotions bubble up to the surface?
I’ll tell you a story. Your life seems great. You’re happy. You’re healthy. Family is in order. Work is going well. Things are unfolding as they should. You’re right where you’re supposed to be. Then, the opportunity of a lifetime, or what seems to be one, presents itself to you. You think long and hard, but eventually, you risk everything and go for it. Your family thinks you’re nuts as you abandon a career that you’ve worked tirelessly to establish. You walk away from friends, money, stability – everything. You’ve set off to pursue a dream. Not long after, that dream gets shattered and you end up broke, jobless, thousands of miles from home in another country and seemingly abandoned. Has that ever happened to you? It sure as fuck happened to me in 2020.
We all deal with the ups and downs in life, no one is exempt. But how do you respond in those moments? Do you fold up like a paper bag and quit, or do you press onward with the task at hand despite your feelings? You see, those are the moments where we forge our real character. When your back is up against it, you find out what is really inside you.
I remember watching a show on MSNBC called Lockup a few years ago. In this particular episode, an inmate in solitary confinement was being interviewed. He had some serious behavior issues and was notorious for his numerous cell extractions by the prison’s SWAT Team. I found this extremely interesting because it gave a look inside the psyche of a man who had his back up against it with no better reason to quit and be restrained to handcuffs. His freedom was taken away from him. He barely has any personal belongings. He’s basically got nothing but the will to carry on. While the filming crew was on location, the guy was again forcibly removed from his cell for refusing to subdue and ‘cuff up’; several of his teeth were knocked out during the struggle. These cell extractions are no joke.
When asked why he never chose to cuff up and comply with staff he said (and I’m paraphrasing), “When they come to the door, they tell you to turn around and back up against the door and cuff up. If you turn around and cuff up, you’re a bitch.” This isn’t a particularly big man at all: white guy in his mid to late 40s, balding, slender build, and not a physically imposing figure by any means. But there was a passion in his eyes when he made that statement about not cuffing up. He wasn’t going to back up, not one single inch, even if that meant getting his teeth knocked out. Now, imagine adopting that same perspective, and applying that drive and determination towards a future of prosperity and freedom.
There is nothing impressive about performing at optimal conditions when the environment is tailored for success. What is impressive is when someone has their soul ripped out and stomped on, yet they don’t back down one, single inch. New York City can be like that sometimes. We’re all out there hitting the pavement, on the grind, day in and day out, dedicated. These are our people, and they always have a seat at my table. They are those who refuse to make excuses in the relentless pursuit of their dreams. They never back up, no matter how seemingly insurmountable the odds are. They stare into the abyss of fear and uncertainty and charge right in. They storm in to accomplish that goal they set in their mind way back when, to make it.
We all long for meaning and purpose in life. We all have goals. It’s how we respond when those goals and dreams are challenged that separates us from the herd and gets us to the finish line. That is why I love New York City and why I am so honored to share my pursuit of happiness with you.
My mentality towards my work is to never back up against the wall and cuff up. Come in here and get me. That’s who I am to me. And that’s who I’ll be to you. Contact me today.
LIFE LIKE JAKE