Malcolm X’s Alma Mater – And How Choosing Between ‘Dead Time’ and ‘Alive Time’ Can Change Your Life.
Malcolm X was a criminal. He wasn’t Malcolm X at the time – they called him Detroit Red and he was a criminal opportunist who did a little bit of everything. He ran numbers. He sold drugs. He worked as a pimp. Then he moved up to armed robbery. He had his own burglary gang, which he ruled over with a combination of intimidation and boldness – exploiting the fact that he did not seem afraid to kill or die.
Then, finally, he was arrested trying to fence an expensive watch he’d stolen. He was carrying a gun at the time, though to his credit he made no move to fight the officers who had trapped him. In his apartment, they found jewelry, furs, an arsenal of guns, and all his burglary tools.
He got ten years. It was February 1946. He was barely twenty-one years old.
“It doesn’t matter how talented you are, how great your connections are, how much money you have. When you want to do something – something big and important and meaningful – you will be subjected to treatment ranging from indifference to outright sabotage. Count on it.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy
“Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.” ~ Dalai Lama
“There are no mistakes in life, only lessons. There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self-mastery. From struggle comes strength. Even pain can be a wonderful teacher.” ~ Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Poem from Jamesy Boy – A Young Man’s Resolve to Keep Moving Forward in Spite of Incredible Life Challenges
In my mind, there’s a boy who exists in chains.
Inside a cold, dark room of painful solitude is where he will remain.
Behind these walls, the sorrow is inevitable, as relentless as the passage of time.
Mentalities corrupt and dark, brainwashed, and hopelessly blind.
Prisons are packed with crowded spaces, lifers and guards with hollow faces.
Shackled hearts afraid of changes, and weakened wills become complacent.
Yet, I maintain with patience, time can limit but not shatter my will, strength blazed across my chest as solid as penitentiary steel.
But the silence speaks, it tells me all I need to hear, it confirms my beliefs and its promises I have to fear.
It reminds me that without freedom, I’m alone.
And these whitewashed walls don’t make up for blackened souls.
I’ve given 95% of my boys a handshake than a pound, before they were either locked down or buried off in cemetery grounds.
What I’ve done is who I am, but who I am is what I do now.
I won’t let up or cease to fight.
Just time, I plan on doing it right.
And what’s right lies within me.
I’m learning to appreciate my struggle for it would be hard to find the joy of accomplishment without it.
We live and we learn.
We rise and we fall.
Like the heartbeat of a sleeping giant, with bittersweet dreams.
Stay up, never down.
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Watch: Jamesy Boy 
“When I am heavy with heartache I shall console myself that this too shall pass; when I am puffed with success I shall warn myself that this too shall pass. When I am strangled in poverty I shall tell myself that this too shall pass; when I am burdened with wealth I shall tell myself that this too shall pass. Yea, verily, where is he who built the pyramid? Is he not buried within its stone? And will the pyramid, one day, not also be buried under sand? If all things shall pass why should I be of concern for today? I will laugh at the world.” ~ Og Mandino, The Greatest Salesman in the World