By Richard Ray:


My life is so far from perfect. Honestly, even people without financial cares would probably admit that no life ever achieves perfection. I have close relationships with loved ones, family and friends that are at times fractured and strained. Often the challenges of serial entrepreneurship minus never having an actual guaranteed paycheck occasionally put a strain on cash flow that inevitably puts a strain on everything else.

I am still a work in progress. My communication skills are much better than they used to be (I mean when they truly suck all you can do is go up from there) but still with much room for improvement. Father time is undefeated, and as much as I still lace up my hi-tops, mirrors and the truth are a constant reminder that I am probably on the downside of my physical prowess and regaining my once adonis like physique (and no I have no evidence to support such a claim, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) instead of the dad bod I have achieved minus the kids.

We are living in trying times. Racial and political divide have many of us unsure of the future for ourselves and the next generation and exhausted with so much negativity. Yet, inspire of writing on so many heavy subjects so often, I live in an almost perpetual state of positivity. Perpetual may be a little bit of a stretch, but I really do not let negativity permeate my soul for too long a stretch at any point.

I am probably more excited about life and my possibilities than ever before. My life of imperfections only show me how blessed I truly am. In the game of life, I may not be ready to declare victory quite yet, but I definitely realize I am so far ahead in the game. I am sure I could take another viewpoint. I could look at it from a different perceptive, less positive. I have done that in the past. Yet, doubt, negativity and lack of perspective cannot rule because I know of far too many others who have circumstances so much worse in life.

Sometimes as people we get into competitions of telling personal war stories. We tell interesting stories of being raised poor, immigrants, broken families, orphans, survivors of abuse and/or domestic violence, systemic racism, health issues. Age has taught me that most people really do have compelling stories, most marked by having to overcome substantial obstacles. Not all are able to successfully do so, but I know that my story, no matter how it started leaves me still non-complacent, but also hopeful and knowing how overwhelmingly blessed I am.

I get to travel around the world, realizing it is one of my passions along with writing. I have been to quite a few places, but focus less on where I have been then what is yet still to come and who am I may ultimately able to share those adventures with. I have close friends that I have not speak to infrequently, yet the comfort and knowledge of them in my life is usually enough. The numbers may not be many, but I know that I am loved, hopefully those close to me feel and know it in return.

Everyday I strive to grow and improve as a man. I know that there is still so much unwritten to my story. I cannot change some of the mistakes of my past, but I can, move forward to ensure that I practice what I preach and feel as easily as I can put into writing. I have a few new projects in my horizon. I may not verbally articulate them to others, but I am excited. When life still provides you the opportunity to get to a place you want, that is eternal hope.

I know that life can be really hard. I know that living day to day is a struggle for many (trust I have been there). Yet, I also know that as long as you are alive, without a debilitating health issue, you always have an opportunity for betterment in life. As much as financial stability plays in any of our abilities to achieve piece, an equally important tool in any achievement of happiness and content is perspective and it is always free and within your means.




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