paparazzi600x399This morning I woke up with one word on my mind: positioning. As in the act of getting into an ideal spot. Parents sacrifice so their kids can go to the best schools, that is an act of positioning them for future success. Papparrazi climb fences/gates just so they can get the perfect shot. That’s also positioning. If you play chess or know anything about it, you also know that finding a way to get your pieces in the perfect spot so you can go boldly proclaim, checkmate. Finding the correct spot a particular piece needs to be in on that chess board at exactly the right time is an act of positioning.

Positioning is a constantly evolving thing and the spot you need to be in today is not necessarily the same spot you need to be in tomorrow. Sometimes you have to remove barriers or knock on new doors, stretch yourself to heights you never knew you could go to or maybe even give up something in hopes of getting something else. Prime example: As I got older I realized I didn’t want to live in the North; but, I viewed it as a means to an end. It was a part of my journey that was required to land me in the very spot I’m in today. I picked up pieces along the way, pieces that allowed me to get in position. And on that journey – from Birmingham to Rochester to Cleveland and finally to my “destination”, Atlanta – I gained some things and I lost some things. And I’m perfectly ok with that because I’m in position. The position I say I should be in.

tumblr_ly2c8jmxum1r4dfvho1_500My point to you is this: the only person that knows the ideal position at this very point in time for your life is you. Your positioning is up to no one other than you – you own it, you decide. You get to take credit and rejoice when things go well; but, you also have to take responsibility when they don’t go well, regardless of the reasoning behind it. You are required to first decide you need to be in a different position, investigate and truly understand what that means, claim it, pray about it, move into it and then do (or not do) all the things required to maintain your spot or position.

Positioning can apply to work, home or play and you are the only one that can be the MVP of your Game of Life. Pay very close attention when your positioning feels off and do something about it. Or as Beyonce would say, “Get in Formation.” Don’t just sing, do.

Hack the Hood

20140715_160531_2-0e7b40433a4997c6818b1428f2089d4ea312038e-s3-c85Planes. Bailouts. Budgets. Violence. When it comes to local news, I’ll pass. Add in cable and it’s even more of a fiasco – from one extreme (FOX News) to another (MSNBC). I resort to reading my daily blogs and resources like The Economist and National Public Radio (NPR). It’s the latter that caught my attention with an article about a non-profit called Hack the Hood, located in the Bay Area.

“Hack the Hood provides technical training in high in-demand multimedia and tech skills to youth who will then apply their learning through real-world consulting projects with locally-owned businesses and non-profits.  During sprints that are 6-weeks long, low-income youth gain hands-on training and experience executing search engine optimization; building mobile friendly, responsive web sites using template software; and getting clients listed in local maps and directories.”

Hack the Hood was 1 of 4 companies that recently won a $500,000 award from Google. When I see these types of articles, it not only warms my heart, I also love reading the comments. Here’s one of my favorites from Steve:

When you provide instructions to a computer in a language it understands, it will do exactly what you tell it to do. The computer doesn’t care what color you are, whether or not you have a degree, or it if your dad was a Governor. This makes a tech career much fairer than the rest of our economy.

The non-profit seeks donations, including: laptops, digital cameras, bus passes and of course a Benjamin (or two) will do.