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Published on July 13th, 2013 | by Mannie Ramos

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How Can I Possibly Become Successful?

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What does success look like? How can I possibly achieve success if I don’t know what it looks like? These are a couple of the questions that always keep me doubting myself. My mom and dad never owned a home. My dad never set up a bank account and never taught me the value of money. My mom never taught me the healthy ways to celebrate my successes in life. I definitely understand that these lessons are learned through experience but since I didn’t have individuals to teach me, how could I possibly know the character of success? …This reaches further into my psyche on why I enjoy Jay-z so much and the things he says on his interviews and music. His music makes me feel that I can be successful beyond all hope and doubt. He is still striving in a business where people have shelf lives; Jay is still a trailblazer. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t idolize Jay-z, but I respect man. He recently did an interview on Hot 97 in New York with Angie Martinez and he said two things that stuck with me on success and failure. He prefaced a lot of his talk by saying his path isn’t the same as the next one.

1) On living without money:

“I don’t need money… I think success is just being able to do what you want to do on your terms.”

When he first said this, the people at the radio station were like, of course you would say that- you have a lot of it. I was thinking the same thing but I took it a step further. He elaborated and used the word “relative.” I heard that and that’s when the light bulb clicked. He was once a snotty-nosed-boy in the projects with dreams like me. Jay-z said that even his own family doubted that he would ever sell a million records. I relate to this because every time I tell someone that I act, I get a look like, “Yea sure.” It’s always followed up with, “What have you been in?” In the beginning, I felt like I had to explain and defend myself. This would cause self-doubt and I would think to myself, “Am really an actor?” Those thoughts are poisonous when you’re pursuing any dream. I’m sure that doctors, lawyers, police officers, and I personally know that military members feel like that as well.

2) On whether he hates failing:

“I’m a person that loves winning. [But] I don’t hate to lose. That’s a different personality trait. Some people hate to lose and that drives them.”

I agree with Jay because with failure comes great lessons for the future. If we just go out and pursue that dream, then there will be no self doubt. We will have failures along the way, but if we stay on the path, we will see that light at the end of the tunnel. I know being afraid to fail is natural but we cannot let that control the decisions we make in life. We are not judged by our failures because people only remember the successes. I like to say to myself that I can only be the best Mannie I can be and if you don’t like it, keep moving and God Bless.

Hello, My Mannie Ramos Jr and I am from a city right outside of Philadelphia called Camden, NJ. I grew up with a rough child and nothing really came easy but at the age of 17 I graduated high school and joined the U.S. Army. I spent 10 years while serving all over the world and I decided to get out in 2012 and pursue a full time career as an actor. I currently reside in LA pursuing this dream. I love to encourage people to be the best that they can be. You never know who looks to you for encouragement so do not slight anyone from being encouraged by your actions and words.

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About the Author

Hello, My Mannie Ramos Jr and I am from a city right outside of Philadelphia called Camden, NJ. I grew up with a rough child and nothing really came easy but at the age of 17 I graduated high school and joined the U.S. Army. I spent 10 years while serving all over the world and I decided to get out in 2012 and pursue a full time career as an actor. I currently reside in LA pursuing this dream. I love to encourage people to be the best that they can be. You never know who looks to you for encouragement so do not slight anyone from being encouraged by your actions and words.



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