Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Praise for Antonio Cromartie & The NFL's Responsibility to Prepare Players

The transition for football players from college to the NFL is difficult on many levels.  Players must adjust to a higher level of expectation, an increased level of personal accountability, competition that far exceeds what they are accustomed to, and what I believe to be most important of all, more money than they have ever seen.  With many of the NFL stars coming from impoverished settings the pitfalls that await them financially are numerous.  The temptation to live a lavish lifestyle, and extend financial aid to friends and family are common challenges for most who make a living playing football.  Most fans understandably feel little pity for the players that find themselves in financial distress after making millions, but I find that attitude quite convenient for people who never stood a chance of being in their early 20's with millions of dollars, and in prime physical condition.  I argue that it is the responsibility of all people involved with the NFL to help players transition, and I applaud the two stories that the NFL has pieced together in this video (which is linked again at the end).

Antonio Cromartie Then & Now
Many negatives have been published about Antonio Cromartie over his NFL career.   He has come under fire for his lack of discipline on and off the football field, failure to properly resolve multiple driving infractions, and for his child support troubles which, despite having already earned millions, he needed an advance to pay.  Cromartie will also have his 11th and 12th kids (from 8 different women) this year, and he famously failed to remember all of his children's names in an interview in 2010. All of this has rightfully brought on a great deal of criticism for the star cornerback.  Antonio Cromartie seems to have gotten his life in order, and I am glad that many outlets have covered that side of the equation as well, though I wish the ferocity of coverage on his rebuilt life was as great as it was for his missteps.

Cromartie's agent recognized his problems, and connected him with a business manager, Jonathan Schwartz, who wanted to help.  The actions taken by Jonathan to teach Cromartie to save, plan for the future, and make smarter financial decisions, including allowing Antonio to share his home while training, are commendable.  Cromartie says that more than financial literacy he also learned lessons about fatherhood and family life through the example that he saw.  The life lessons that he can now share with young players who will find themselves facing similar temptations are invaluable.  I strongly suggest watching the video, which does explain Cromartie's financial missteps, but pardon me for spoiling the ending, Cromartie now loves the Prius that he drives daily.  This type of story should be reported more aggressively by the media, and should be more common given the trouble that so many athletes find themselves in.

Jeff Fisher & The Rams Tackle the Problem
The second part of the story focused on the St. Louis Rams' unique approach to helping their new rookies get off to a strong financial start.  The Rams waited as late as possible to sign their newly drafted players, while working to educate them on financial literacy over that time.  The proactive approach that Head Coach Jeff Fisher has taken with these players is exemplary, and it is my hope that all organizations will work as hard to ensure that their players are well prepared as they enter the NFL. Coach Fisher's reasoning clearly includes the desire to see the young men he coaches succeed off of the field, but an added reason to address this issue is brought up as well; "because if there's financial issues, there's going to be on the field issues."  There is no excuse for teams to not dedicate substantial resources towards educating their players on financial literacy.

Wrapping Up (pun intended)
At the end of the day, without much consideration for the circumstances, fans will continue to blame the players for their missteps, and I do not foresee a day where financially troubled athletes will receive much sympathy.  The ultimate burden does in fact rest on the shoulders of the player, but I believe that the NFL should make financial literacy a top priority.

The reality for football players is that they at best have between the age of approximately 22 and 35 to make big money in their profession, and very few of them have a family history that would prepare them for their new life. All players face the possibility of injury, deteriorating skills, and missed opportunities cutting their career short, but it is human nature to expect the best case scenario to work out, and preparing for darker days is difficult for everyone.  If given proper assistance the ultra competitive, often egotistical professional football player has much better odds at lifetime financial security.

From the comfort of our own perspective many athlete's mistakes seem incomprehensible, and the solutions often appear to be simple, but a little empathy for those who have not shared our experiences, and are actually thrust into a world that we believe we could better navigate is in order. The public should also be willing to heap praise on players who have managed to turn their life around just as much as they enjoy lambasting them for their failures. I leave you with my oft-used favorite quote.

"Walk a mile in a person's shoes before judging their soul."

(Click the link below to watch)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

Despite our hypocritical history, today's power hungry politicians, and the flawed system that they are creating, The United States still reigns as the best and most free country in the world. If followed properly, which has NEVER been the case, our founders created documents that outline the epitome of freedom and independence.  At a time that we Americans stand as witnesses to both major political parties tearing our country apart by grasping opposite ends of our social fabric and pulling as hard as possible, lets not forget that we are all in this together.  

Today we celebrate the founding of our great country through the bold decision to declare independence from Britain.  While we celebrate this important day in our history, it is about time that we declare our own independence.   We are not bound to the party lines that currently enslave us.  We need to start questioning the intentions, and motivations of all who desire to put us into oversized boxes. No one should be happy with having an all-inclusive label slapped on them.  

Everyone has their own personal reasons for supporting a given side of any issue, and party affiliation should not be the major part of that equation.  Let us do away with the pettiness, and begin to have some respect for our fellow citizens.  On this Independence Day I challenge you to rethink why you are Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Green. Consider what those parties truly stand for, rather than what they stand against.  Think about how conveniently they take opposite sides of all issues.  How little attention is paid to the issues that tie these parties together, and why?  How much does their system depend on keeping us as citizens at odds, defined by our party affiliation?  

Let's be defined as Americans. In our country we can acknowledge our flaws freely, and work to fix them respectfully, all the while embracing our greatness.  The demise of that greatness can only come from within, but as long as we remember what links us rather than dwelling on what separates us we stand to always be free and independent.  Beginning with the Declaration of Independence, the documents that create that structure is already in place.  The problems we face are real, and using those documents to navigate a much different world may be difficult, but together, Americans can accomplish anything.  

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why I write. & What writing is for me.

What is writing?

Writing is so much more than jotting down stories and ideas; it introduces, explains, touches, directs, persuades, befriends, informs, motivates, guides, and transports among countless other things.  Additionally, it’s benefits are bestowed on more than just the reader.  Writing presents an unparalleled avenue for me to learn from the deepest wealth of knowledge available; my soul.  Through writing I do depend heavily on the knowledge of others, but most important for me is the inquiry, discovery, and debate that occurs internally.   It is in me the author AND you the audience that written words induce a range of reactions:  denial of opinions, and affirmation of belief; grasping of the never understood, and discovery of the never known;  discarding of previous views, and acquisition of new faith; joy invoked by the fictional, and sadness induced by reality... it’s all experienced by both the writer of the work, and the reader of the work.   

This is a reality that I am not sure many readers fully understand. For me as a writer, the act of getting my thoughts in words is very often part of the process of my learning.  I write about what I want to know and understand more completely.  Incomplete, shapeless constructs are formed in my mind, and as the ideas make their way from my brain and out through my hands they develop into neatly packaged ideas.  The process simply continues, as my recently born (discovered) truth then spawns (leads to) new shapeless constructs which begin their journey to birth.  

Why do I want to be a writer?

If I answered that question based on pure emotion I would say:

I want it because I never feel more like I am tapping into my true self than when I am using text to bring my thoughts to life.  Writing is the vehicle I use to travel my mind, and I always feel more alive during and after the exploration.  Verbal communication is amazing, and I am more than happy to get engaged in a conversation anytime; but for me dialogue is a young, reckless teenager, while completed writing is the developed, polished adult.  The ‘soul’ of each is the same, but ideas that are written have been given the opportunity to 'age,' and therefore achieve a higher level of maturity.

If I answered that question based on logical thought these would be the 3 reasons that explain why I want to write:  

Reason 1 - I want to share what exists in the call center that I have for a brain.

Like a call center it is as if my mind has many lines ringing, and being answered simultaneously.  The ‘conversations’ are loud sometimes, with some being more prominent than others.  When I focus in on one line I am confident in my ability to tackle the problem, evaluate the information, and extract a deeper meaning, which is what I plan to do in my writing.  I feel extraordinarily accomplished and at peace after completing a work that I feel fully expresses my truths, ideas, and feelings on a subject.  While eventually new lines alway ring, I at least temporarily reduced the noise level up there after finishing a piece.  Through writing I have an opportunity to share my truths, which I consider to be insightful, and useful.

(Reasons 2 & 3 are technically 1 reason with two completely different, and individually important meanings for me.)

Reason 2 -  (Freedom #1) I want to do what I want to do.  

Classroom teaching is absolutely amazing.  Managing a group of children while giving instruction is simply a natural gift of mine.  On top of my ability to do it well, I truly love doing it!  If I did unshackle myself from the classroom I would certainly find other ways to directly mentor and help children, but the shackles themselves are often too restrictive in education.  When it comes to standardized testing, support is too strong of a word to use, but I don’t have the typical disdain for them.   Without getting into too much detail I’ll say that I fully understand the need for accountability, and measurement, and I have no fear of it.  The limits and control over what I do does bother me greatly though.  
Writing would free me, and allow me to evaluate my own wants, needs, and desires.  The freedom to decide what I do and do not focus on would greatly improve my happiness, and reduce the amount of frustration I have with my career.  This doesn’t mean that I expect to always write what I find most important or fascinating, but it does mean that the ultimate decision would be mine to make.  I prefer to not be shackled by outside parties who get to decide in detail the subjects of my daily work.

Reason 3 - (Freedom #2) I want to do what I want to do.

In addition to content, the classroom has me shackled to schedules, calendars, and clocks.  I fully understand that a career in writing includes deadlines, meetings, and other requirements that would dictate my schedule.  The difference once again is that I get to make the ultimate decisions.  Additionally, even when I agree to a framework, I for the most part get to decide when and where my work gets done.  This allows me to write, visit family and friends, take trips to the beach, procrastinate, get a workout in, sit and stare at the wall, cook, read, and ANYTHING else that I decide to do when and where I want to do them. This is a freedom I would greatly appreciate.  

I am not hoping to give up teaching, and abandon my love for Education by writing.  I am planning to use it as a medium to teach, while helping to shape the future direction of Education through writing. 

Write Right, Right-now

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Another School Year Down...

I am loving my first week of summer!!!  I am excited about my plans, and I will be sharing them in future postings (which will come much more frequently).  Before turning that page I want to reflect on the past year, and close out the chapter that was my 2012-2013 school year.

The year that almost was not...

My initial purpose for getting into education was to work with teenagers living a life similar to the one I grew up with; the ones who unfortunately have a limited shot at success, in large part because of their substandard education.  My heart still is, and always will be, in urban education and helping poor minorities.  I will surely use the knowledge that I am gaining now to help bring about change in some small way.

Because of my all ready established goals I was reluctant to take my current position, which offered better (though stil too low) pay, much better facilities, and far superior resources.  I knew that my skills and experiences would be useful at a failing school with struggling students and far too often substandard teachers.  I have a deep desire to give back, and I didn't want to abandon 'my people.'   I was also unsure of my ability to relate to the wealthy students and parents that attended the school.  Aside from the difference in environment, I wasn't positive that working with younger kids (7th grade) was the right fit for me.

...but thankfully it was to be.

All of my initial fears vanished as I got to know my new school.  The overall vibe of the school was consistently positive, and my students were amazing.  For as much as we lacked in ability to relate we more than made up for in our ability to explore a different side of life.  The mutual interest continued to propel us throughout the year, and I think it is that interest in each other that made for a great year.

I'm not sure if my students will ever fully grasp that they teach me too, but I learned a lot this past year.  There are far too many lessons to list, but I think the most important thing that I learned is the importance of how things are said, regardless of the meaning and intent behind it.  While my upbringing and the Army has muted my emotions a great deal, I have learned to be more aware of how I say things and to empathize more with how what I say may be taken.  That is not to say that I have abandoned my style, as I believe 'being real' is often a good way to to teach, but I have learned to better select my moments.  Accepting the reality that my intentions are actually less important than other's interpretation was important for me, as I have always vehemently defended the opposite point of view.

I also learned that teaching 7th grade Civics is a perfect fit for me.  It allows me to teach the way that I have always dreamt of teaching; incorporating real world issues, life lessons, and useful skills all year.  Additionally, with Middle School being so important as a transitional stage, I feel that I can make a larger impact on more impressionable kids in 7th grade than I could in High School.  I plan to stay with this subject and grade until I transition to another stage of my career.

More to Come:

Overall I look back at this year as remarkable.  The dynamic will certainly be different with the incoming 7th graders, and even they would agree that they are a more rowdy group,  Regardless, I expect to have an even better 2013-2014, watching my former students finish their transition to high school, and preparing my new students to follow in their footsteps.

One Last Lesson:

Below is a letter that I felt inspired to write to my students prior to beginning Summer break:

6 June 2013
Dear 7th Grade Civics Students,
This has been an amazing year.  I will always remember the first year that I taught Civics at ACES as an amazing experience.  While every student was not jumping for joy while coming in to learn about our government everyday I know that many of you were truly interested in the subject.  Without the questioning, and participation that you brought to the class as students such a great experience would not have been possible; even though you ALWAYS knew how to get me off topic, and did so consistently!  

I am proud of the growth each of you has made as students and young people, and I have faith in all of your abilities.  When I say all of you I literally mean it; even those of you who read this and think that I am talking to someone else more than you.

I know (not think) that all of you are capable of greatness.

The Civics content that we learned is important as you move forward in life and become participating citizens in our great country.  While those things do matter, more important than the knowledge is the skills and values that I tried to teach throughout the year, which will be important as you move forward with your education, and your lives.  I hope at a minimum you learned, and will remember the following 10 lessons:

1. You are capable of anything that you put your mind to.

“There is no man living that can not do more than he thinks he can.”
–Henry Ford

2. Don’t wait for what you think is the best time; just do what you have to do.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.”
-Chinese Proverb

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
-Abraham Lincoln

3. Every time you put your name on something give it your best effort.

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment; full effort is full victory.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

4. You only have two real choices, either accept your situation or change it.

“You can’t always change your situation,
but you can always change your attitude”
– Larry Hargraves

5. Happiness is internal.  

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
–John Milton

6. Excuses are Useless

“It’s no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’
You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.”
-Winston Churchill

7. Always look for perspective, and have empathy for others.

"Sometimes you have to put yourself in other people's shoes 
to really understand the hardships of their souls."
-Kellie Elmore 

8. Never apologize for who you are.
“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”
–E.E. Cummings

9. There are no dumb questions (except those that you did not at least try to answer yourself).

“It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. 
If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. 
But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers.”
-Patrick Rothfuss

“Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.”

10. Seek Knowledge Or Only Lose

"The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance"
Enjoy Your Summer…….Y’all,

Mr. Tyrkala

Monday, November 12, 2012

Black Music: Rap < Hip-Hop

I will never forget the day in Afghanistan that I went with my boss to the recreation room to watch football late at night, and he pointed out that someone had signed up for the talent show as a raper.  It was sad to know that this soldier was not literate enough to know the correct spelling of his own craft.  Further, it was embarrassing that someone who shared my interest had set himself up to be ridiculed for announcing a planned display of forced sex rather than his skillful use of words.  

Black Music:

To say that black music is in a sad state would be much more than an understatement.  By ‘black music’ I refer specifically to R&B and Hip-Hop, as those are the two widely recognized black genres.  I have watched BET my entire life, and from time to time I would recognize the title, Black Entertainment Television, but rarely did I give it much thought.   While on a trip to Europe though, I came across a sign for a nightclub, and it had the words “Black Music” on it, featuring the artist T-Pain.  My initial reaction was of disappointment, and I considered the sign racist in nature.  Eventually I realized that they simply were stating the reality, and as I thought about it I came to terms with the fact that it was in fact ‘black music’.  So, while some may take exception to the term ‘black music’ I will use it anyway, and if even after giving it consideration one can’t accept the term then I apologize for the inability to deal with the reality. 

R&B has it’s share of problems, and I could just as easily be writing about the problems present in that genre.  The explicit, over-the-top sexual nature of the songs, along with the lack of love in ‘love songs’ is baffling.  I long for the days where singers poured their hearts out.  Am I suggesting the the problems of today were nonexistent back then?  NO.  R. Kelly is just as nasty now as he was in the 90's, but the lack of diversity among the artist’s material today is a true problem.   

Two Genres:
It is Hip-Hop that I will focus on.  The ignorant, stereotype affirming, listener killing, womanizing, money blowing culture that is Hip-Hop.... 

Actually I am a lover of Hip-Hop, and I would never attribute the above to such a wonderful culture.  These descriptors perfectly describe Rap music though.  It is the loose use of the term Hip-Hop that I would like to highlight as a problem.  

Just because someone is stringing words together over a beat does not make them a Hip-Hop artist.  I find it disrespectful that someone would put Wacka Flacka Flame in the same genre as Mos Def.  I mean, Celine Dion never had to share a genre with Britney Spears!  

What we have are two distinct genre’s, and I would appreciate it if the Pop version of Hip-Hop, which is Rap, was separated.  It should be looked at as a derogatory statement for a Hip-Hop Emcee to be called a rapper. To lump all 'black music' together into a few genres ignores the true talent and the beneficial aspects that exist within the culture of Hip-Hop.  In reality there are many subgenres of both Hip-Hop and Rap, but simply recognizing those two separately would be a good start.

The Problems with Rap:

To be a rapper is to be a product.  As a rapper your goal is to gain popularity, notoriety, and money.  To do so you are willing to say and do anything that it takes.  If that means that you have to fabricate or exaggerate a history of drugs, violence, and riches then so be it.  If that fabrication results in children aspiring to be that negative image, then so be it.  If the pursuit of that image ruins those children’s lives...then so be it.  That is the bleak, greedy, and careless nature of a rapper.  

If money is your end goal, and you could care less about the effect that you have on your community then that is perfectly fine for you.  Rap is not the first or only profession that has a negative effect on the world as a whole in the pursuit of material gain.  

The Goodness of Hip-Hop: 

An emcee loves his community too much to tell a lie that would hurt another within it.  Emcee’s are responsible for building and maintaining the culture that their predecessors have left them.  There is a respect for history, and the value an individual has is not based on their accumulation of possessions.  Instead it is the style, and lyrics that an individual brings that affirms their worth to the culture, and place in it.  

Being a part of Hip-Hop brings a sense of belonging to many who feel lost.  Life-Skills and values such confidence, determination, responsibility, courage, respect, creativity, and trust are just some of the many attributes that Hip-Hop develops in community members.  

Are there negatives to Hip-Hop?  Absolutely, but compared to the self destructive nature of Rap, Hip-Hop is saintly. There are ways to use anything for a negative, and individuals do so when battles are taken too far, and when private property is tagged.  

The important reality is, just like Gospel Music was turned into secular Blues and then R&B, Hip-Hop has morphed into Rap.  The biggest difference being that there is a refusal to recognize the lines that separate the two genres. It is time now to consistently distinguish between Rap & Hip-Hop, before the culture is lost in the blur!

‘Rap’ It Up:
At its core, Hip-Hop brings people together, while Rap drives people apart.  I don’t have any fantastical ideas of Rap going away, but I do envision a day where the two genres are not linked.  I hope for a time where the negatives of Rap don’t tarnish the image of Hip-Hop.  There is simply too much talent and positivity within the culture of Hip-Hop for it to go unnoticed by the masses.  I am not the only person that I know who can not relate to nearly any song that gets played on the radio.  I literally do not listen to Rap music anymore.  

I recognize the corporate forces that drive the industry, but when looking for a place to lay blame there is no need to leave the black community.  It is the artist that auctions off his soul, it is the DJ that brings the product to the people, and it is the consumer that happily takes in the ignorance.  Demand better and you get better.  While Rap may not go away, it definitely should have a diminished role in our society!  This is not the future that MLK saw as he slept.  


This freestyle takes a look through the body of Rap, and exposes the fractured skeleton beneath the skin.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Positing Positivity: A Whole Person Positive Lifestyle

“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

When I advocate positivity it is from a whole person perspective. The collective and individual components of the mind, body, and spirit make up what I refer to as the Whole Person. I strongly advise all people to pursue knowledge, truth, and understanding. This requires a positive perspective, for through positivity you do still recognize the negatives, but through negativity you fail to see the positives. 

This call for positivity will manifest itself through three separate posts. In this piece I discuss what the Whole Person Positive Lifestyle looks like by breaking down each of the three aspects of the Whole Person, and how they work together as a whole. Next, I will address several issues including; why positive thinking is necessary, why so many find it difficult to embrace this thinking, and the difference between being naive and being positive. To wrap it all up, I will focus on the role of entertainment, particularly modern urban music, on what I see as an epidemic of overwhelmingly negative perspectives and mentalities among the artists.

'The Cycle’ of Embracing Positivity:

There is no switch to flip that could rid you of a pessimistic outlook. Instead by taking steps toward positivity in each aspect of your life you will develop a Whole Person Positive Lifestyle which will change your perspective. These steps make up what I call 'The Cycle' which is so named because a process is be something that can be completed, while a cycle is continuous. The Whole Person Positive Lifestyle is a way of living, and it requires maintenance and constant adjustments, therefore one could not complete it as you would a process.

Our mind develops the thoughts which bring positivity to the body, in turn this helps our mind function more strongly. Our spirit is then allowed to reverberate positivity as our mind solidifies our thoughts and makes them a part of our being.


A positive life begins with positive thinking. I know it to be true that people who approach new situations with optimism are more likely to have a positive experience. Whether you are meeting new people, beginning a project, or taking on challenges this holds true. People can literally feel your presence, and when that presence is negative it increases the chances that you will have a negative outcome. Similarly, your brain begins to create your reality based on your thoughts, and if you start with a negative foundation it is much more likely that you will end with a negative outcome.

I am aware that some people would take exception to the argument that presence can't be physically felt, and they would not want to have any part of a discussion on auras, chakras, or a sixth sense. Part of the reason I am so emphatic about this idea of positivity is that it is true for anyone regardless of religion, spirituality, or other beliefs. Though I believe the above to be true, there quite simply undeniable realities that come about with negative thinking. 

Besides the negative energy that I believe one can bring to the equation, there are negative manifestations that are added to all situations when one has pessimistic expectations. When one thinks in their mind that a situation will go badly, their body automatically begins to manifest that reality through actions such as body posture, voice tone, eye contact, and facial expressions. It goes back to that old saying:

“Perception is reality” 

This is usually said from the perspective of an outside person making a judgment based on what they see externally. While this is true of the world that we live in, perception is an internal reality as much as it is a force that comes from the outside. If we perceive the world around us as a positive place full of opportunity, then we will make that our reality. Through ‘the cycle’ this positive thinking eventually manifests itself strongly into your spirit, but first I will discuss how positivity must overtake your body for a complete Whole Person Positive Lifestyle.


The body is an amazing machine. When you really take the time to think about what it does it truly is too much for the mind to comprehend. What is true and easy to understand about our body is that it is the only one we have. With that truth being stated, the following two things are imperative to a life of positivity; we must work to be happy with our appearance, and take care of our bodies.

Positive thinking leads us to a self assured attitude. Many of us feel negatively about certain aspects of our looks, but the world around us has a lot to do with that thinking. As we develop our positive minds we begin to love others for who they are, which in turn allows us to do the same for ourselves. We begin to break out of the mold of society that tells us that we must dress flashy, and be born with certain body features in order to be happy. This does not strip us of any style or rid us of all self consciousness, and it is certainly not an easy or fast step in the process. As we gradually remind ourselves of the positive we continue moving closer to the truth, which is that we are all magnificent and worthy of happiness. This allows us to forget about the frivolousness of our outward looks, and embrace the grandness of life.

That same body that we should develop positive ideas about must be nurtured, as it is really the only one we have. Once you are happy about who you are, you can not allow that to make you complacent with the maintenance of your body. Just like any machine, there are certain fuels that are necessary for our survival, we need to eat the correct nutrients that optimize our bodies ability to grow, recover, and repair. Additionally our bodies need to be flexed and pushed to maximize endurance, prevent stiffening, and enhance strength.

If we are positive about our future, and truly believe that we are on a path towards greatness then we must work for our bodies to feel that way, and prepare them to take us on that journey. As the cycle winds around to our bodies we begin to be more completely positive, and the essence of positivity bounces around in both our mind and body, eventually creating a positive shift in our spirit.


When I discuss the spirit it is not in a religious sense. I am referring to the essence of who you are, this is what I think of when I ponder the spirit or the soul. When something is within your spirit, it is your default setting. You don't get to think about what you will do spiritually, it just happens. That is why this is the last part of ‘the cycle.’ Your mind and body have to work together enough to develop positivity within your spirit. As you discover more truths, and you accept positivity over time your spirit begins to transform. It is then that you achieve the actualization of Whole Person Positivity. With this truth you understand that the process is never ending, for competing forces are always abound, and similar to the way your spirit adopted positivity, it can regain neutrality or negativity.   

Once the spirit is on board, maintenance is very important. The spirit is tied very closely to our mind. As we develop our positive lifestyle there are several dangers that consistently present themselves. First of all is the negativity that makes up the majority of entertainment This is what I consider the most dangerous threat because it is a living threat, which will be explained later. Pessimistic people are also dangerous, as they can intentionally or unintentionally introduce you to their negative lifestyle. Additionally, we all will undoubtedly encounter disappointment in life, and these situation present themselves as possible stumbling blocks. 

And then....'The Cycle' continues:
To maintain our Whole Person Positive Lifestyle we must recognize trials as we enter them, and learn from them in order to build on what we have rather than letting them erode our positive spirit. 

In the next post I will cover several ideas including; why a Whole Person Positive Lifestyle is necessary, why so many people find it difficult to embrace this thinking, and the difference between being naive and being positive.   Below you will find a song that I did about positivity, take a few minutes to listen, and always feel free to leave comments and feedback.