What I tell myself

Sensei said it first. I’ll say it again. When thoughts of doubt, depression and negativity creep in…from wherever they came from. I refuse to stay down. No rest, no mercy, gotta keep moving forward.



What a day, what a day. I felt wonderful today as I took a walk down the street. I could feel the sun on my back even through all the cold gear I was wearing. For once I felt hot in the cold, I felt confidence, I felt reassurance, I felt powerful and just thankful to be here, to have all my friends, family and readers who subscribe and read my blog posts. I reflected on a major area of my life and I wanted to share it with you because I definitely think it will help you find your way.

Mentors, do you have a mentor ? Have you ever had a mentor or did you ever realize that someone close, or far, is, or has been a mentor to you ? I surely have because these past 2 days I got mentoring from 2 different people. I got off the phone with Dr. J.W.Wiley, whose book “The Nigga in you” is hitting shelves and online accounts later this year. If you’re about philosophy, deep thinking and introspection, challenging yourself and others, finding the answers to questions and examining diversity and how it relates to you, this is certainly a book for you to read. By no means do I cover it or do it full justice so stay on the look out because I sure am.

I’m going to back up a bit and explain the brief list of people who have really impacted my life, so much that I had to include them to demonstrate how much mentoring mean to me. (These are in chronological order not rank)

1. Bruce Lee

2. Joseph H.

3. Dr. J.W.Wiley

There are at least 2 others but the very 1st mentor I had wasn’t very positive, though he did have an impact on me (He taught me what not to look for in mentors, beware of those people too, but even they have something to teach)

Bruce Lee

I’m not going to indulge in his Bio, if you want to know, look him up (Homework?). He impacted me, and continues to do so through all his work, martial art talents and achievements, and for what he stood for. In the face of  racial tension, monetary dilemmas, physical ailments and deeper issues, he lived knowing that he wanted to communicate his message and taught me to “honestly express myself”.  Bruce got me interested in Taoism (pron. Dah-oo-ism), I learned a lot about the spiritual side of martial arts and what it means to really want something and to fight for it.

When I was 12, I got inspired, because I saw this huge martial arts expo on TV that was commemorating martial artist and he was one of them. From that day, something told me I had to know who this man was and years later I learned. I haven’t stopped reading his books and I often take them up again and re-read, because I learn to engage the same material in a different way. Life has a way of teaching us new lessons and giving us new tools that allows us to explore the old.

My second mentor, (and no more pictures after this point unless approved), gave me tough love till I understood what it meant to grow up. I had business ideas and he took aim and shot them down, because he knew I could do better, he knew I wasn’t thinking right at 16 and I needed more information, more time to grow. He suggested things I could study and understood me in a way that I could not. He was also very influential in terms of my martial arts as well. He instructed me on something that I still follow today and I can sum it up in a brief statement: “Martial arts is serious, you can really hurt someone even when you’re playing around and it’s best that you learn it from the right people. You have a responsibility to yourself and to the other people and you can seriously hurt someone even when you’re not trying too.”

He also taught me how to research, to read more often and be more detailed, to hold a stronger argument, to overcome excuses (because God knows I had tons of them) and gave me tough love. He helped my skin gets tougher, because he knew I’d come upon more problems…Thanks Joe, this one’s for you Brotherman.

The next mentor that impacted my life is Dr. J.W.Wiley. I had always felt this need to speak to like minded people, to speak with people who were open minded and yet educated in a way that they could help me understand. It’s funny, after taking one of his Diversity courses I became his T.A. and took another course from him. Since then we haven’t stopped communicating and he always helps a young blood like myself to the next level. J.W. and many of the crew associated with him, along with my closest circle of friends, have all helped me step my game up. Conversations with him are like drinking water after a walk in the desert for me, and it feels good to open up and think again. I reflect on myself and how things I say and do affect others and one day I’ll be sure to pass on the wonderful knowledge I’ve learned to my children.

“Perspective is the Objective” – Dr. Wiley

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” – Anais Nin

These two quotes are by other authors but I’ve learned them through the good Dr.; I’ve always felt he’s helped provide a cure for ignorance, so even before his PhD I felt like I was being cured…get my drift ?. Recently Dr. Wiley and I spoke on the phone and he challenged me yet again, giving me some assurance on skills I didn’t even realize I had and then told me to focus on “stepping my game up to the next level”.

Have you ever had that ? Have you ever heard someone in your circle say that ? What about in your family ? friends, work place ?. If not, I encourage you to find a person. It doesn’t matter how you do it, if you need something, be open to what will come and It probably will. I was fortunate enough to withstand a lot of the pain that came with change to become the man I am today….and I’m still growing.

So maybe I can be that mentor for you, or maybe you’re looking for someone else. Here’s how you do it: Research something or someone, find an author, find a friend, a family member, a professor or generally a person that can help you, that inspires you, encourages you to step your game up. You need someone who will give you good, real, objective advice, who isn’t afraid to tell you, you’re wrong and is going to help you make it right.

I’ve learned so much, and I’ve received so much knowledge from my mentors and it’s funny because I’ve grown older, I’m 26, I would say I began my journey when I was 12 and here I am, still learning from my 1st and 2nd mentor, still growing through my 3rd mentor, still seeking to step my game up.

I wish you well reader, I wish you health, I wish you prosperity, I wish you ability, I wish you diversity in your mind and heart, and most of all I wish you find your way and then turn around and help someone else find theirs.

All the best, keep your head up, you don’t ever want to miss an opportunity

Nick A. Titley