Believe you can and you will… Own it!
- How would the future of young people look if they knew how to apply most of what they have learned?
- How much further would a person be in life if s(he) did not have to learn everything the hard way?
Those questions sparked EJay to develop the blended self-refinement book series for the youth & young adults, and the adults who genuinely support them. Both books are designed to heighten self-awareness and accountability.
- Ahead of the Game: Practical Application
- Ahead of the Game: Forward Thinking
Read the first few pages of these books at no cost via the eBook links on the right
Ahead of the Game: Practical Application is a self-refinement tool filled with inspiration for young adults to apply what they have learned. It is complemented with thought-provoking chapter questions and uniquely infused with a colorful fictional story. Ahead of the Game: Practical Application is a perfect book for middle and high school students, and adults who want the best for our young people. Straight talk; 4/5-hour read. 105 pages.
EJay’s Ahead of the Game: Practical Application is a bold inspiration of knowledge seeking and application of learned information. Blooming with candor, her forthright context and anecdotes are cleverly blended into a burst of relatable and fundamental lessons proceeded by stimulating questions that ensues self-reflection – a self-reflection of choices. Marbled with critical choices to apply lessons learned and to make something of their lives, Ahead of the Game: Practical Application inspires young people to be the difference maker in their own lives.
EXCERPTS from Ahead of the Game: Practical Application
– Chapter 3: Subject to Necessity
Subchapter – Science
Like in science, people desire to know. They want to know why and how. Using the why and how components of science, we can explore, explain, and even change the unknown.
. . .
Continuing with its pertinence, the true substance is in the how, not the why. That is because:
- The why may never be answered;
- The why could be irrelevant or a lie; or
- The how is simply more important than the why.
Some Whys verses their Hows:
Why1: Why doesn’t anyone love (or like) me?
How1: How can I love myself, care about myself, and accept myself, even when it seems that no one else does?
Why2: Why are things like this? I hate it!
How2: How can I influence the change I want to see?
Why3: Why are some teachers harder on some students than others?
How3: How can students be receptive to guidance from teachers who show that they care?
Why4: Why do some girls have babies just for someone to love them back?
How4: How can young ladies be educated to know that even love from a child is not guaranteed long term?
Why5: Why do some boys think that having sex with many girls makes them a man?
How5: How can young men be educated to know which qualities truly make them men?
Why6: Why does it seem that filling prisons is more important than ensuring that every student graduates from high school?
How6: How can each young person focus on graduating from high school and staying out of trouble no matter how many prisons and jails are built?
Why7: Why does unfairness (racism, favoritism, injustice, bullying, etc.) exist?
How7: How can people collaborate on common goals to help make effective changes?
– Chapter 5: What’s the Rush?
Enjoy your childhood. You have probably heard that before. JYep! Here we go again, because it’s true. Do not be in a rush to become a grown-up. You cannot turn back the hands of time to relive your childhood.
. . .
Being an adult has its perks, but the role of a grown-up is tough with a lot of responsibilities and sometimes heartache. As an adult you are responsible for yourself. You have to earn money (honestly, one would hope) to pay bills and to maintain the lifestyle that your parents afforded you or the lifestyle that you most desire.
. . .
Now imagine being a parent. It might look easy, but it’s not. You have the huge responsibility of providing for your children and raising them. With no rule book for parenting, you do the best you can with what you have.
– Insight: Final Check-In
Noah looks at Javier. “Can I ask you something, man?” “Yeah.”
“Why didn’t you defend yourself when that jerk kicked you? I saw him do it when you were picking up your books off the floor. Bo ain’t nothin’—weak.”
Too embarrassed to look at anyone, Javier drops his head and shrugs his shoulders. “I don’t know.”
“If that punk messes with you again, I got your back,” says Mitch.
Skye rubs Javier’s shoulder. “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I was bullied too.” He looks up at her. “That’s how I met Lacey. She stood up for me and convinced me to tell my parents. We met with the school counselor.”
“Yeah, really. And the girl ended up getting suspended.” Skye smiles at Javier.
“Remember, you matter.” He cheers up and smiles back at her.
“I know I matter,” says Lacey. “I told my parents that I think I like girls.”
With Mitch and Javier glancing at each other in shock, Skye asks Lacey, “What did they say?”
“Nothing at first. But they’ve been open minded. We started having family night every Saturday. It was my idea. We talk openly about everything!”
– Chapter 6: You Matter
You matter. You matter regardless of your environment and what you have or do not have. Despite what you have been through or what you are going through, know that you matter. You matter to the people who care about you and support you. You matter to the people who want to see you succeed. Ultimately, it is imperative that you matter to yourself and to seek help when you need it.
A few Key Takeaways:
- Don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, because you do matter. Your future matters. Your life matters.
- Knowing that you matter, care about yourself and love yourself.
- Whatever your story is, you are not alone. Someone else has either been through it or is going through it too.
- Maintain your support system [the people who have shown you that they have your best interest at heart and do not ask for anything in return, except for you to always do and be your best for yourself and your future].
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Ahead of the Game: Forward Thinking is a mature continuation in the Ahead of the Game blended self-refinement book series, crafted for young adults eighteen and older. It is uniquely infused with a vibrant fictional story and complemented with thought-provoking chapter questions. The straightforward life tips encourage a forward-thinking approach to life to make the most of it. Straight talk; 4/5-hour read. 87 pages
EJay’s Ahead of the Game: Forward Thinking is an illumination of self-reliance to inspire young adults to think beyond the here and now and to plan ahead. Its bold perspective provokes independency with a straightforward illustration of awareness and choices that excite self-discovery and encouragement to take advantage of everything that life has to offer. Embodied with empowerment to live life to its fullest without regrets, Ahead of the Game: Forward Thinking inspires critical thinking beyond today and to plan their lives decades ahead while enjoying life.
EXCERPTS from Ahead of the Game: Forward Thinking
– Chapter 1: What is Ahead of the Game: Forward Thinking
It’s likely that parents f#ck up the first part of their children’s lives, and young people f#ck up the other half themselves. With this in mind, what do young adults really have to lose thinking ahead to maximize the richness of their lives?
“If I knew then what I know now . . .” These words are often spoken by adults after they get it—after they reach the stage in their lives where things become crystal clear. Ah, yes, the sweetness of clarity. Clarity of knowing who you are. Clarity of feeling comfortable with who you are. Clarity of who truly supports you. Clarity on preparing for what lies ahead. Clarity of knowing exactly what you want in life. With all that clarity and the self-reliance to make it happen, getting it ensues.
. . .
– Reality Check-In I
“I concur,” Aunt Lennox says. “Patience is a virtue. A lot of young people want what they want when they want it, but life doesn’t work that way. Well anyway, my advice for now is to be selective about who you have kids with. You don’t want to end up like me. Two kids by two different men and didn’t marry either of one them. Eventually, I met a good man. It took me a while to appreciate the good ones.”
“All of that is true. And to help you figure some things out in life, try to start by getting to know yourself,” MiMa encourages the young adults.
– Chapter 6: That’s Life!
Accept the inevitable in life and work toward preparing for it as much as possible. You don’t know exactly what will happen; however, you can prepare for what is bound to occur.
. . .
A couple of the thought-provoking chapter questions from Chapter 6: That’s Life!
Babies do not ask to be born. Children don’t choose their family, situation, or environment in which they are raised. However, adults do have choices. Adults can think about certain things before having sex and before deciding to have kids to make choices that are best for them and their children:
- How will I protect myself from STIs, and how will I protect myself if I am not ready to have children?
- What reasons do I want to have children?
- How will having a baby change my life, especially if it’s unplanned?
- What do I have to offer our child(ren), other than love?
- How will we support our child(ren) financially?
- How will we help set our child(ren) up for success?
- How will I ensure stability for our child(ren) in case of divorce, separation, or the non-marital relationship ends?
- If something tragic happens to one or both of us, who will care for our child and with what monies?
What reasons do you want or do not want to have children?__________
Unfairness is real and a part of life—it’s a part of some people’s everyday life. While unfairness is a reason that some people have it tougher than others, it isn’t a reason or excuse to give up or to not work toward goals.
Keeping in mind that you can’t change other people—you can only control your reactions—what are some approaches for how you handle different types of unfairness? __________
Time does not stand still for anyone. Everyone will reach retirement age, if they are fortunate enough to see it, however, not everyone will be financially stable as they become more and more seasoned.
What’s your plan to secure your financial status as an aging adult? __________
– Final Reality Check-In
“The most important life lesson I learned was the difference between a debit card and credit card,” Zique follows. “A debit card is ‘enjoy now; pay now.’ A credit card is ‘enjoy now; pay on time later or suffer later.’ And if you can’t afford to pay a bill, then don’t make that bill in the first place. That’s why I’m debt-free, and I expect to stay that way.”
“Show off,” Skye teases.
Zique smiles. “Hey, it is what it is. Not all people know it, but we all have choices and options in life.”
“You’re right!” Jackson rubs his chin and says, “My huge life lesson was to be smart when it comes to women, because some of them are snakes! Let’s just say I learned to flush my protein and take my condom with me if I’m at her crib. That way, desperate, clock-ticking women won’t have my DNA to freeze for later scheming. The woman for me is going to have to earn my trust.”
Uncle Collin, Zique, and Jackson hold up their cups. The ladies smile because they know Jackson’s assessment is accurate. PaPa glances at Skye, Jackson, and Zique.
“From everything y’all have said today, it sounds like the three of you finally got it! I’m really proud of all of you.”
Big smiles stretch across the faces of Skye, Jackson, and Zique. “Thank you!”