Monday, July 18, 2016

Procrastination, Our Terrible Friend

An interesting theory on Procrastination and How To Stop it From Killing Our Goals

So I was procrastinating all week when it came to figuring out what subject I was going to write about this week and while trying to avoid brainstorming I came up with a brilliant topic: procrastination!

While mindlessly scrolling my Facebook feed--my go-to procrastination tool in my unproductivity utility belt--I saw an article post entitled,  "9 ways to stop Procrastinating on Your Screenplay". Interestingly enough, that is exactly what I've been doing! 

Seeing as how the article was relevant to my exact situation, I gave it a quick look-see and was fascinated by an insight about procrastination that was articulated in a way that I have never heard before: 
"Procrastination is ultimately a fear of being judged".
Suffice to say, I was intrigued.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The No BS Guide to the 2016 Presidential Election for Those who Despise Politics (Like me)

Yeah I know what you're thinking. It's the middle of 2016 and I'm just now writing about the election. So I'm jumping into this a little late alright? Being on hiatus for so long, I have to play catch-up on a lot of hot blog topics so here goes.

First, a disclaimer. As the title says, this is a guide for those who despise politics. I would be one of them. Trust me, I've tried to get into it and feel like it's my duty to be at the very least be informed but cot' damn I can't stand the garbage! As a child, I used to think that I just needed to get older to care about politics and that soon enough I'd be watching CNN all day like my dad does but NOPE--almost 29 years old and still can't stand CNN, C-SPAN, and all the talking heads blowing hot air either lambasting political leaders or being engaged in a circle jerk. This is my good faith attempt to breakdown the election and the candidates and the implications of the upcoming election(which aren't good either way). Without further ado...

Monday, July 4, 2016

Back From Ramadan Hiatus

Hey everyone, your favorite PhilAsifer is back at it again to give you a quick update in regards to my absence. So I couldn't keep myself to a consistent writing schedule AGAIN, but this time I have a pretty valid number of excuses. 

First off, Ramadan has kinda put a pause on my blogging. With it being a month of spiritual reflection and trying to devote more time to the Qur'an, PhilAsify 101 had to take a backseat. Plus some of the topics I've wanted to touch on are political and worldly issues and I didn't want to get into that stuff during Ramadan.

Secondly, I've been trying to focus more on my freelance career and establishing myself. The best way to do that is to put myself out there and find work and deliver top notch quality writing. That's not an easy task so I had to put my regular blog posts on the shelf that way. 

Lastly, I have had other writing projects and developments that were more pressing. For example, I finished writing an E-book! The first I've ever written and it's one I will let you guys in on in the very near future.

So there you have it. That's why I haven't written anything after promising to post weekly. Please forgive me. If you don't then you can just stick it up your...ah man---

I am fasting, I am fasting

With it being the last day of Ramadan today, expect me to be back at it again next week with a new installment and regular weekly posts of new PhilAsify 101 content thereafter. Stay tuned and stay patient cause I'll be coming at ya next week with a doozy!

Ramadan Reflections 2016

As for my reflections for this years Ramadan, it was a good month spiritual-wise but I feel I did not spend enough time with the Qur'an. I didn't hit my goal of reading the entire translation of the Quran with a juz a day, I didn't do enough tajweed reading, I didn't get to memorize a new surah that I had been doing consistently during Ramadan for years. I didn't participate in any taraweeh prayers (though they are sunnah and can be prayed at home)

It's a lot more different now being the father of two really young kids and trying to really get your Qur'an studying on and doing extra prayer and meditation. My two little ones make it a bit difficult and I noticed that I have to be a bit more strategic and pick my spots when I can read a little or pray longer (when they were asleep mainly).

My children are both a tremendous blessing though and I find solace in the fact that God knows my intentions and he knows that I have responsibilities and rights my family has over me. Running to the masjid and confining myself there because "I GOTTA PRAY AND READ OK?" would be selfish and inconsiderate because I'd be making things difficult on my wife and I'd be neglecting my kids by this sort of self-righteous type of behavior.

So while it feels like this Ramadan is a wash because I didn't do the traditional things like taraweeh prayers, or doing a masjid retreat (ihtikaf), and the whole nine, I don't see it that way. In the past I would've felt guilty or beat up on myself but I'm in a better place now where I won't sweat it too much. It's not about the quantity though its a plus during this time of year. It's always has been about the quality. In Islam, quality always trumps quantity. I do believe I had some good quality prayers, duas and meditation time to really spiritually connect with God on a level I previously hadn't done before.

Often times people use Ramadan to really up their rituals they've been neglecting and then unfortunately drop them as soon as the month is over. But the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH( did say that it's consistency on spiritual activities that God loves the most, no matter how small and minute they are. Consistency is the key and I hope that outside of Ramadan I continue to do those little consistent bits of good and not sweat that I'm not doing these big heavy rituals that most folks who take part in them do really to toot their own horn or do them blindly without really feeling or appreciating the significance behind an action. That's my take away for this year.

I hope everyone had a good Ramadan and I hope also that everyone has a great Eid! 
Catch ya later.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Another Muslim, Another Setback: The Orlando Mass Shooting

"Aaaagh! It's another friggin Muslim guy!" I blurted out to my wife while sitting on the couch scrolling the news sites to find out information early Sunday Morning about the Orlando Mass shooting. My family and I woke up and turned on the TV to news of a tragic shooting at a gay night club in Orlando where a whopping 50 people were killed and 53 were injured. Those were the headlines plastered across the screen of a scene where it showed men, bloody and injured being carried away from the club by friends. Others were traumatized, crying from the carnage they had just experienced. It was horrifying. All we could say while captivated by the coverage was, "Man he (the shooter) better not be Muslim."

That's what prompted the search on my phone and sure enough, the idiot was. And sure enough, I reacted like Homer Simpson would when he heard something horrible happened and is praying to himself "Don't be the boy, don't be the boy" and then when it's revealed that his son Bart Simpson caused the destruction, he reacts appropriately.

Tale of the Tape: Muhammad Ali (A Real Muslim) vs. Omar Mateen (A Fake Muslim)

IN THIS CORNER!....a surefire resident of paradise, the greatest heavyweight CHAMPEEN in the world, of noble mind and fine Muslim character...Muhammad Ali!

America (and Muslims) were just coming off of  mourning a loss of a great global hero. Muhammad Ali, boxer, entertainer and activist had passed away and the world weeped and paid tribute to the great man. At his funeral, many attended, celebrities and people who looked at Ali as a role model. Millions also watched the funeral at home. It was performed in the traditional Muslim way and notable Muslim scholars were there to eulogize Ali. It was a great look into what Islam was all about and who Ali was all about. Ali was an exemplary American Muslim and was the standard barer for how a Muslim should conduct himself in America while proudly being a follower of the Islamic faith.

Aaaand in this corner, he's surely hellbound, a conceited selfie taking prick, a homophobe and abusive intolerant jerk, he's a pathetic excuse of a Muslim, Omar "jackass" Mateen!

Now in contrast, we have this prick Omar Mateen who happens to have a Muslim sounding name (because the jerkoff certainly wasn't Muslim by action) who killed innocent men at a nightclub-- DURING RAMADAN no less--before getting killed in a gunfight with police and setting the Muslim community nationally and worldwide back even more. Muslims and Islam is being bashed left and right as extreme, as intolerant of others, as being barbaric, bloodthirsty and vengeful and critics of Islam are going, "I told you so" about us because of this act. 

Frankly it pisses me off and it collectively pisses the entire Muslim ummah off when some a-hole like this does some dumb crap like this. Details and unconfirmed rumors surfaced that he did this to show his allegience to the terror group ISIS and ISIS also claimed responsibility. 

The father of the shooter claimed that he had no terrorist affiliation and this wasn't motivated by any terror group but was merely a hate crime because his son was a homophobe who was ignited by seeing gay men kissing at a beach with his children and being offended by it. His ex-wife has come forward and has said he was violent, intolerant and abusive and he wasn't a devout Muslim. Whatever the facts are, this was totally uncalled for and the POS went off and did this unnecessary crap. In his mind he may have thought he was doing the world a favor, but all he did was make the religion that he erroneously followed look worse in the eyes of the world.

Muslims are sick of apologizing for pieces of shit. We shouldn't have to. We have nothing to do with these kinds of people. Nothing about our beliefs says to go killing innocent people for no reason. And especially during the month of Ramadan where we're not supposed to even argue or cuss much less grab a damn assault rifle and take people out. 

It's like notable scholar Khalid Yasin said best, Islam is like a corporation and Muslims are all employees. If a employee does something scandalous or against company policy, the corporation has every right to cease ties with that person and put a disclaimer that the employee acted on his own, does not represent our culture and our values.  Omar Mateen is not from us. He's not a Muslim whether his name sounds like he is or whether he prayed salat the day before or fasted, he's not Muslim if he's doing shit like this.

Islam is more than just rituals and clothes to wear and not eating pork. It's about character more than anything else and it's of character modeled off of someone with exemplary character, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Muhammad was tolerant of others, of non-Muslims. He did not get angry and advised people to control their anger, he dealt with people justly. He defended innocent men, women and children. Muslims are to model themselves after the noble characteristics of the Prophet. And the beloved Muhammad Ali who is adored by many for his character was only doing his best to emulate the characteristics of the man he named himself after, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

What Omar Mateen did broke company code, it voided his effin' contract! He's terminated, he's finished, he's no longer an employee of the faith. The only thing we as Muslims are sorry for--and it was beyond our control-- is that we're sorry he ever filled out an application and it was accepted. Allah will sort his ass out in the next life. That's the way it should be.

My heart goes out to the families of the slain and I'm glad to see Muslims in Orlando and nationwide stepping up and reaching out in solidarity and support. The Muslims now have to deal with more hatred and vilification and likely hate crimes against us because of this scumbag unfortunately. Being in an election year, this event probably got Donald Trump more voters. It's a damn shame. The whole thing is. 

We'll bounce back because like Muhammad Ali, we know where we stand and we live everyday making sure the people know where we stand.

Winner by knockout, Muhammad Ali!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The World Loses A Legend: The Passing of Muhammad Ali

Cassius "Muhammad Ali" Clay passed away Friday at the age of 74. He was known as the People's Champ and for good reason. He won the hearts of the public with his character. He was the fiery fast talker, charismatic and opinionated but could back up his wit and verbal jabs with legit lightning fast jabs in the ring. He's proclaimed as the greatest boxer in the history of this sport, but it was his personality and actions outside of the ring that made him the famous influential figure that the world will never forget.

Social media has had an overwhelming outpouring of messages, tweets, and tributes to the fighter. He was a universally loved athlete because of his intellect, his sense of humor and his bravado. In a day and age where the world looks so disapprovingly at Muslims and Islam in general, it's ironic that someone seen in such admirable light across various creeds, ethnicity and backgrounds for his life and body of work and his activism was a Muslim. 

There's so many quotables, so many soundbytes and memes that highlight his exceptional character that I can't do it enough justice packing it all in on this blog. What I can do is give my own personal tribute to him.

Unfortunately, I missed Muhammad Ali in his prime when he was a star-attraction, a headliner and controversial hero. But thankfully, with the benefit of videography, a lot of his greatest moments were captured on camera. His interviews, his epic fights, his poetry, his humor was captured for us all to marvel at. He had documentary after documentary made about him and his life. He had a Hollywood biopic made about him. It was through these means that I came to appreciate just how great of a man he was and how proud I was to know that we shared the same faith and that made us brothers.

This young scrawny kid from Alabama became one of the greatest figures in our lifetime by working hard, having his eyes set on a vision of greatness and busting his tail to go after it. Sure he was brash and confident and had a swagger about him, but he could back it up yet at the same time he was so down to earth unlike athletes these days who put themselves on a pedestal and look down upon commoners (Money Mayweather). 

His conversion to Islam ultimately humbled him and made him a lot more introspective. I'll never forget an excellent clip of him talking about Islam and his view on the purpose of life and death and the afterlife. What's amazing was that he was on a national stage, in front of tons of white folk, talking Islam in the friggin '70s to people who didn't have a clue about what the faith was all about, and he schooled them and they just were wowed by his commentary. Here it is below:

It wouldve been delightful for him to be able to be vocal and nimble in his old age, God knows he'd be a fiery spokesperson til his last breath for Islam, for Muslims and for the injustices in the world against African Americans and other minorities and railing against corruption in government like he did in his heyday. I wouldve loved to hear from him.

Unfortunately, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984, just three years after his last fight of his phenomenal boxing career. It was sad to see that the man who become world famous for his quick footwork and loud mouth had those very gifts hampered by the disease, his movements slowing, his posture shaky and his voice practically taken away. . But even he had a humble sense of humor about things, as he stated in vintage Muhammad Ali fashion:

God gave me this illness to remind me that I'm not number one, he is.
The man forever known as the "greatest" was reminded of the phrase that Muslims all around the world, utter during every prayer, who ACTUALLY is the greatest: Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest). And Ali reponds with the most humbling quote summing up his reaction to the Parkinson's disease he was given. It's just out of this world. 

Muhammad Ali will be missed dearly and I pray that he is given the highest station in paradise and that one day I could meet him on the other side.

RIP Muhammad Ali

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Why Getting Fired From My Job Was The Best Possible Thing That Could Happen

"It's just not working out."

That was the reason I was given when I walked into the conference room where my Supervisor and the HR Manager sat and had me sign off my termination papers. Nothing else was stated between my boss. She got up and briskly walked out of the room. My reaction?

Well...I didn't exactly say that but that's the vibe I gave. And as cool as a response as that is to getting canned, that wouldn't have been my reaction a year back. A year ago, I would've been floored by getting fired. I could see it now, my heart sinking, my voice cracking as I would pathetically beg them to reconsider. Anxiety would take the wheel and I'd be terrified with the outlook since there was no backup plan or steady income of any kind that I could fall back on. What would I tell my wife? How would I pay the bills and the rent? What are we going to do!?

Nope. None of that happened. I was truly at peace with the decision. And it was the right decision. They were absolutely right in firing me. In fact, I shouldve probably been fired a month into working there, and I had worked there for four years! I brought absolutely no value to the position anymore because I checked out long ago. I was the definition of a slacker. In fact, I was actively using company time coming up with an exit strategy to get the hell out of there.

When I had a talk with my dad later that day informing him of my pink slip, he looked at me and laughed stating, "Usually people are sad and this is bad news. But here you are, you're so happy!" I was, I was effing beaming!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Return of the PhilAsifer

**Door creaks open, all is heard are the faint sounds of footsteps. A light turns on...SURPRISE!**

I'm Baaaack! Did ya miss me?

Hmm...well I anticipated this happening so it's all good. It's been a solid year since I've last updated PhilAsify101. In this fast moving, content-dependent world of YouTubers, vloggers and bloggers if you even get a hint of inconsistency, miss out on a weekly post, and don't give solid regular updates of SOMETHING, ANYTHING--you lose your audience. A whole year passes well, then it's rebuilding time. Surprisingly though it seemed I got a consistent readership of 100 or so views of my old posts, so that's encouraging.

That being said, I have made my return and hopefully by Allah's will, it will be for good. I hope to regularly deliver to you consistent, thought-provoking posts. And just as was the purpose of PhilAsify101 when I first launched it, I write mainly for myself to keep my fingers moving and actually be A WRITER WHO WRITES, whether I have an audience or not.

Where were you at, doe?

Alright, TI, I knew you would ask what everyone else was thinking: where have I been in the past year? Well a lot has happened since then, some ups, A LOT of downs. I was going through a personal crisis and I really just couldn't write anymore. I had to do a lot of soul-searching, pause and look inside myself and see what character flaws are holding me back from my true potential and what things about my mindset and everyday life do I need to change about myself to ensure a better outlook upon life. I also realized that I have a tendency to get easily distracted with things I have no business being distracted by and it effected my daily living and my relationships with loved ones. You really have to pull away and get away from obligations like a blog to make time to fix that kinda crap up.

When it comes to accomplishments, I was in a slump but managed to complete personally writing my first feature-length Hollywood-ready screenplay, which I'm very proud of. I'm hoping to work on a few more projects before really starting to pursue the next step of getting those screenplays looked at by the right people and establishing my dream of becoming a Hollywood screenwriter. That takes discipline and setting aside time to write and I'm hoping to do that.

A big ground breaking change in my life is that I GOT FIRED from my job! So of course being unemployed is going to give me ample time to write. Don't feel sorry for me though, I'm all smiles! I will touch on that more in my next blog post coming soon.

So rest easy everyone--all 12 of you--PhilAsify101 is back to deliver to you more thoughts, opinions, inspirations and reflections from this point forward.