Personal Legend - Kobe Bryant

Image taken by MJ close to Staples Center in DTLA

Read the Allen Iverson letter to Kobe titled “Dear Kobe” today. A theme that comes up a lot in the open letter is Kobe’s work ethic. To reach his highest potential, Kobe had to live differently from his peers. We saw that Kobe’s drive to be better, made others around him better. Whether it was current players like Lebron James seeing how much work Kobe did and wanting to emulate that ethic, or a kid like me seeing someone give something they love their absolute all. I’m currently reading “The Alchemist,” a book that postulates that we all have a “Personal Legend,” something we’ve always wanted to accomplish. Before reading, I was skeptical the book was one that espoused richness and greatness for all if they think positively. I couldn’t be more wrong. While teaching its readers le…

Homelessness In America

Image taken by @kihomizuno from Top of The Rock in NYC

Over 10 years ago, my cousin left home, never to return. After she left we stayed in contact for a few years. For a stretch of time, she had a cell phone and I was able to return her calls, but they usually came from various phone numbers. When I began working in Japan, I had no way of receiving her calls and I lost contact with her. Two years after the last time I spoke with my cousin I found myself in Greenwich Village, NYC waiting to have lunch with one of my best friends at one of my favorite restaurants, Negril. While sitting in Washington Square Park and reading a book, I notice someone walking by that looks like my cousin. But it couldn’t be her, could it? Last time we spoke she was working on a farm in Oregon. But of course, it’s her—I could tell by her walk. I pack up my be…

Ergonomics

Image taken by @kihomizuno

If you didn’t know, I grew up in the NYC borough of Brooklyn. Whenever I go back to the city, I see a new change in the way Brooklyn looks. The same can be said for other major cities in the United States. This change is often referred to as “gentrification.” Wikipedia defines gentrification as “a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses.” Although you won’t hear me argue against the improvement of neighborhood or affluent people entering a neighborhood, gentrification has a negative effect. The Wikipedia article continues, “Gentrification often increases the economic value of a neighborhood, but the resulting demographic change is frequently a cause of controversy.” Is it possible to increase the value of the nei…

The Way

Image of MJ working to pay for college

In an environment where social media depicts people living their best life, it’s easy to believe most people travel through life without difficulties. The resources that promise a simple formula for solving all your problems are plenty. Books like “The Secret”, get-rich YouTube videos, and celebrities promoting products geared towards being like them. Although being positive, learning how to build wealth, and promoting products is not bad, without balance it is quickly forgotten the challenges that often accompany you on your way through life. There is a popular saying in the black community that goes “You have to work twice as hard, to get half of what they have.” The “they” being our caucasian brothers and sisters. While this message of working hard rings true for many black communi…

Seth Godin - The People You Seek To Serve

Image drawn by @kihomizuno

If you’ve ever watched the AMC network show “Mad Men” you might have an understanding of marketing. The main character Don Draper and his team provide us with the inner workings of a marketing machine in the 50s and 60s. The fictional main character Don is gifted at empathizing with the customers he is seeking to serve. With our ability to connect becoming easier every day, marketers have seized on the networks used to connect us, and as an effect marketing has become embedded in our every-day lives. Although marketing, specifically direct marketing allows us to find products we are interested in, the way we are being marketed by a majority of companies is not good for our society and culture. They are not fully empathizing with their audience. In Seth Godin’s book “This Is Market…

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