“You better check yo self, before you wreck yo self!” —  O’Shea Jackson aka Ice Cube

Let me just start by stating that I am NOT a fan of gangsta rap, but when I Googled “Check yourself, before you wreck yourself,” the lyrics to Mr. Jackson’s 1993 song came up. Most of us are familiar with the phrase, even if we haven’t heard Ice’s tune. The Urban Dictionary eloquently defines it to mean:“you better watch before you step over that thin line and get your a** into serious trouble.”

Though those words are generally thrown around in a confrontation between two people, sometimes the biggest fight that you will ever face is the war within yourself. We’ve all seen movies and TV shows where some person is battling the devil that sits on one shoulder and the the angel that sits on the other, right? That’s the kind of fight that I am talking about! One choice will end well, and the other…. probably not. In the latter case, you have officially wrecked yo self!

In my own life, it is not always about good vs. evil, but more about so-so choices vs. excellent choices. Here are a few examples (not necessarily my own *wink*):
  • Pursuing a degree in business, IT, or ministry, when you really want to be a writer or an artist or a world-class photographer.
  • Moving to the country (or the city) when you prefer living in the city (or the country).
  • Eating junk & fast food and lounging on the couch vs. preparing healthy meals at home and walking for 20 minutes a day.
  • Working at a job that not only doesn’t fulfill you, but also doesn’t pay you what you are truly worth vs. working on something that you are passionate about, finding a way to make money from it and then striking out on your own. 
  • Dating the super fine and sexy playboy vs. befriending the handsome guy in the next pew or cubicle or grocery aisle.
Okay, I will admit that I have made some mediocre choices in my lifetime, but after spending plenty of time checking myself at the end of 2013, I am ready to correct myself this year. With self-correction (and the corresponding discipline that it requires) in mind, here are the items on my 2014 Evolution List.
  1. Keep myself spiritually grounded through prayer, meditation, journal writing, etc.
  2. Work on my personal health and fitness by releasing some excess weight and getting back into shape. (Numbers 1 and 2 are kissing cousins since my body is the temple for my spirit. The two of these things will help me gain the energy that is required to do the next things on my list.)
  3. Taking writing courses (starting next week), becoming a better student of African-American history and culture, booking more speaking engagements, completing my first book and taking Brown Girl Collective to a higher level.
  4. Doing more with my finances: Earning more. Saving more. Investing more. Releasing more debt. Giving more.
  5. Finding my happy place by relocating to a city that I love!
I won’t bore you with all of the details, but that is the gist of my evolutionary quest for 2014. Throughout the year, I will continue to share bits and pieces of my journey through this forum and others.  My prayer is that you will utilize the days and weeks ahead to do a little soul-searching and lay out your own path of self-correction. 

Here’s to an EVOLUTIONARY year!

Feel free to share your 2014 Evolution List in the Comments.

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