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  • Look up at the stars and not down at your feet

    Do you want a rewarding life?  Then be curious.  The more curious you are, the more possibilities you will open throughout your lifetime.  Open your eyes and look around.  How many blind assumptions have you made?  What do you want to know more about?

    Here are 10 good reasons why you should unleash your curiosity:

    1. You Will Clarify Yourself – Curiosity allows you to shed light on your troubles, thoughts, and personal circumstances.  It motivates you to uncover the truth about the nuances of your life.  When curiosity is properly honed, it serves as a vehicle for establishing personal goals.
    2. You Will Uncover the Truth – All that seems obvious in life is not necessarily true.  A curious person doesn’t just take someone’s word for it; they discover the truth for themselves.  The curious dig deep into the details, and when they finish their detective work, they don’t only know “what” or “when”, they know “how” and “why”.
    3. You Will Release Your Inner Child – Children are curious.  They are like an empty canvas, waiting to be filled with knowledge and experiences.  They don’t have predetermined expectations fogging their judgment.  Children absorb the world around with an open mind driven by sheer curiosity.  Curiosity can help open your mind too.
    4. You Will Experience Something Fresh – New experiences are one of the most exciting acts of living.  They simulate your mind and free your creative emotion, thus liberating your thoughts from the tension of a daily routine.  Be curious, be daring, be alive!  Go discover something fresh.
    5. You Will Increase Your Productivity – A curious mind dives beneath the surface of common acceptance to unravel the details driving the process.  The more you comprehend the details, the better you will understand the process.  Thus, the more productive you will be.
    6. You Will Learn More Often – When your curiosity steers you into the unknown you will return with a greater wealth of knowledge.  You will stretch the boundaries of your mind.  The more you learn, the more you will want to know.  Every new awareness will lead you to another stimulating challenge.
    7. You Will Become More Efficient – Curious people look at a challenge from multiple angles.  They discover alternative ways of accomplishing the same task.  The greater the pool of possible solutions, the more likely it is that they will expose a better way to get things done.
    8. You Will Experience a Spice of Variety – Variety is the spice of life, at least that’s what the curious folks understand.  There is nothing more boring than repetition.  When you allow your curiosity to send you in new directions you add variety into your life.  This could be as simple as eating at a new restaurant or taking a new route to work.  Don’t confine yourself, go explore.
    9. You Will Be More Positive – It is much easier to be negative about something than it is to be positive.  If you don’t understand something, or it is unusual to your senses, it’s easy to write it off as being useless or dumb.  Only when you truly understand something will you be able to appreciate it.  Human beings tend to be more positive toward the things they understand.  Curiosity naturally broadens a person’s horizons, and thus their understanding of the things around them.
    10. You Will Establish New Relationships – Your curiosity will lead you down roads you would otherwise not have travelled.  On occasion you will almost certainly want to stop and look around.  You never know, you may bump into someone you have a lot in common with.
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  • Jay-Z Has Entered the Legal Weed Business

    Jay-Z has teamed with the California weed company Caliva as Chief Brand Strategist, focusing on the social justice issues around legal weed.

    Jay-Z will join the California-based cannabis company Caliva as Chief Brand Strategist as part of a new multi-year partnership.

    The rapper will help the company with creative decisions, outreach efforts and strategy, though a big component of his role will focus on the social justice issues surrounding legalization. Specifically, Jay will work to improve the representation and participation of previously incarcerated people who are still being kept out of the legal weed business in large numbers. Per a statement, Jay-Z’s efforts in this realm will include “advocacy, job training and overall employee and workforce development.”

    “Anything I do, I want to do correctly and at the highest level,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “With all the potential in the cannabis industry, Caliva’s expertise and ethos make them the best partners for this endeavor. We want to create something amazing, have fun in the process, do good and bring people along the way.”

    Jay-Z reached out to Caliva after an extensive search to find a suitable partner in the cannabis industry. “For Jay-Z to seek out Caliva as a partner is humbling and confirms our mission of being the most trusted name in cannabis,” says Caliva CEO, Dennis O’Malley. “To find that we were in complete alignment around our values and ethos was just a home run. We believe this partnership is unparalleled in this or any business and we could not be more pleased to be working with him and have him as our Chief Brand Strategist.”

    Jay-Z’s decision to focus on the social justice side of legal weed complements the work he’s done in criminal justice reform. The rapper served as an executive producer on a docuseries about Kalief Browder — the teenager who died by suicide after spending three years on Rikers Island while awaiting trial for steeling a backpack —while he was also one of the most outspoken advocates for Meek Mill, using that MC’s case to shine light on unfair sentencing and probation practices. Following Meek Mill’s release from prison, he and Jay-Z helped launch a new foundation dedicated to criminal justice reform, the Reform Alliance.

    Jay-Z is the latest rapper to enter the legal marijuana business. In 2015, Snoop Dogg launched his own weed brand, Leafs by Snoop (it’s distributed in Canada by the weed giant Canopy Growth), while last year 2 Chainz partnered with Green Street Agency and Mazel Management Group to launch his own company, The Gas Cannabis Co. Other MCs like Wiz Khalifa, Freddie Gibbs and Juicy J have all developed their own signature strains, while in 2018 Cypress Hill’s B-Real opened his own dispensary in California, fittingly naming it Dr. Greenthumb’s.

     

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  • 19-year-old Ghanaian student builds search engine to rival Google

    A 19-year-old Ghanaian university student Gabriel Opare has built a new search engine to rival Google and Youtube.

    According to Opare, his new search engine, Mudclo, will challenge the dominance of YouTube.

    Opare, a level 300 sociology student of the University of Ghana, taught himself how to code by taking online courses during his free time.

    Mudclo is a free search engine for videos. Mudclo discovers and streams videos from the different locations on the internet all in one place.  “I believe that my business is good enough and that it can scale globally. It is a legitimate point to say that YouTube is a video hosting website, but they are two different entities.

    “While YouTube is a video hosting website, Mudclo combines the power of YouTube and two other video hosting websites in order to create Mudclo,” he said.

    Mudclo’s users most popular searches include adverts, music videos and amateur content.

    According to Opare, his initial inspiration came from other Ghanaians, restless and eager to build businesses at a young age on a continent where opportunities are limited and unemployment is rife.

    Mudclo has already caught the attention of some of the world’s big tech companies, including more established video hosting sites although there is some work to be done on Mudclo to fix bugs, boost the features and visual experiences it offers users.

    “With all entrepreneurs, they feel that there is a rewarding or gratifying feeling that comes with creating a product or a service that will actually matter to the world,” the teenager added.

    Experts say information and communication technology could help Africa overcome infrastructure inadequacies, satisfy rising consumer demand, boost regional trade and diversify economies, ending reliance on raw materials.

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  • Painfully Truths We Forgets

    You know how you can hear something a hundred times in a hundred different ways before it finally gets through to you?  The ten truths listed below fall firmly into that category – life lessons that many of us likely learned years ago, and have been reminded of ever since, but for whatever reason, haven’t fully grasped.

    This, my friends, is my attempt at helping all of us, myself included, “get it” and “remember it” once and for all…

     

    1.  The average human life is relatively short.

    We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know.  It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step.  You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.

    LIVE your life TODAY!  Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either.  Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action.  Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive.  Be bold.  Be courageous.  Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.

    2.  You will only ever live the life you create for yourself.

    Your life is yours alone.  Others can try to persuade you, but they can’t decide for you.  They can walk with you, but not in your shoes.  So make sure the path you decide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, and don’t be scared to switch paths or pave a new one when it makes sense.

    Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t.  Be productive and patient.  And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in.  This is your life, and it is made up entirely of your choices.  May your actions speak louder than your words.  May your life preach louder than your lips.  May your success be your noise in the end.

    And if life only teaches you one thing, let it be that taking a passionate leap is always worth it.  Even if you have no idea where you’re going to land, be brave enough to step up to the edge of the unknown, and listen to your heart.  

    3.  Being busy does NOT mean being productive.

    Busyness isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect.  Though we all have seasons of crazy schedules, very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy ALL the time.  We simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize properly, and say no when we should.

    Being busy rarely equates to productivity these days.  Just take a quick look around.  Busy people outnumber productive people by a wide margin.  Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time.  They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc.  They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep.  Yet, emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their day planners are jammed to the brim with obligations.  Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance.  But it’s all an illusion.  They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.

    Though being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation is not sustainable long term.  We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of busyness and more time actually living a purposeful life.

    4.  Some kind of failure always occurs before success.

    Most mistakes are unavoidable.  Learn to forgive yourself.  It’s not a problem to make them.  It’s only a problem if you never learn from them.

    If you’re too afraid of failure, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful.  The solution to this problem is making friends with failure.  You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner?  The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.  Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us.

    Bottom line:  Just because it’s not happening now, doesn’t mean it never will.  Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right.  

    5.  Thinking and doing are two very different things.

    Success never comes to look for you while you wait around thinking about it.

    You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.  Knowledge is basically useless without action.  Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work on meaningful goals.  Ask yourself what’s really important and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.

    And remember, if you wait until you feel 100% ready to begin, you’ll likely be waiting the rest of your life.

    6.  You don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive.

    Life gets much easier when you learn to accept all the apologies you never got.  The key is to be thankful for every experience – positive or negative.  It’s taking a step back and saying.” Thank you for the lesson”  It’s realizing that grudges from the past are a perfect waste of today’s happiness, and that holding one is like letting unwanted company live rent free in your head.

    Forgiveness is a promise – one you want to keep.  When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self.  It has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime, and everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.

    7.  Some people are simply the wrong match for you.

    You will only ever be as great as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those who keep bringing you down.  You shouldn’t force connections with people who constantly make you feel less than amazing.

    If someone makes you feel uncomfortable and insecure every time you’re with them, for whatever reason, they’re probably not close friend material.  If they make you feel like you can’t be yourself, or if they make you “less than” in any way, don’t pursue a connection with them.  If you feel emotionally drained after hanging out with them or get a small hit of anxiety when you are reminded of them, listen to your intuition.  There are so many “right people” for you, who energize you and inspire you to be your best self.  It makes no sense to force it with people who are the wrong match for you.

    8.  It’s not other people’s job to love you; it’s yours.

    It’s important to be nice to others, but it’s even more important to be nice to yourself.  You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.  So make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you.  Know your worth, even if they don’t.

    Today, let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as incomplete as you think you are.  Yes, let someone love you despite all of this, and let that someone be YOU.  

    9.  What you own is not who YOU are.

    Stuff really is just stuff, and it has absolutely no bearing on who you are as a person.  Most of us can make do with much less than we think we need.  That’s a valuable reminder, especially in a hugely consumer-driven culture that focuses more on material things than meaningful connections and experiences.

    You have to create your own culture.  Don’t watch TV, don’t read every fashion magazine, and don’t consume too much of the evening news.  Find the strength to fill your time with meaningful experiences.  The space and time you are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if you’re worrying about Kim Kardashian or Lebron James or some other famous face, then you are disempowered.  You’re giving your life away to marketing and media trickery, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and be a certain way.  This is tragic, this kind of thinking.  It’s all just Hollywood brainwashing.  What is real is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears, etc.

    Too often we’re told that we’re not important, we’re just peripheral to what is.  “Get a degree, get a job, get a car, get a house, and keep on getting.”  And it’s sad, because someday you’ll wake up and realize you’ve been tricked.  And all you’ll want then is to reclaim your mind by getting it out of the hands of the brainwashers who want to turn you into a drone that buys everything that isn’t needed to impress everyone that is not important.

    10.  Everything changes, every second.

    Embrace change and realize it happens for a reason.  It won’t always be obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.

    What you have today may become what you had by tomorrow.  You never know.  Things change, often spontaneously.  People and circumstances come and go.  Life doesn’t stop for anybody.  It moves rapidly and rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds, and happens like this to people every day.  It’s likely happening to someone nearby right now.

    Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes the direction of our lives.  A seemingly innocuous decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite striking Earth.  Entire lives have been swiveled and flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the strength of an unpredictable event.  And these events are always happening.

    However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.  So when life is good, enjoy it.  Don’t go looking for something better every second.  Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have while they have it.

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