What does it mean to experience pressure in your life? For many of us, there’s pressure that comes externally; family, friends etc. External pressure can be significant, but the real pressure is the type that comes when you decide to stop playing life safe, living by the status quo, and become the person that you are supposed to be. Pressure will expose you for who you really are. It’s going to define what it is you actually stand for when the heat gets turned up. Pressure is a process of squeezing all that is weak, all that is fragile, and all that is timid out of us.
I believe we need more of it, because you don’t know who you are when everything is comfortable. You don’t know who you are when life is this fairytale, where nothing goes wrong and everything goes your way and everybody likes you and everybody’s giving you an opportunity and everybody’s singing your praises and telling you how great you are. Because that’s all bullsh*t. You can’t know who you are in those moments. You don’t know who you are until life punches you in the face. Until you’re faced with disappointment and setback, and everything seems to go wrong, and you gotta make a decision, “Do I fold or do I go?” ‘Cause see, that’s what pressure does. Pressure busts pipes and creates diamonds. Pressure exposes you.
All of you want to think that we’re built for the tough times. But the truth is many of you are not. Many of you have made a decision that when the going gets tough, you will get going. And that’s what pressure does. Pressure exposes you.
Imagine working a job you hate day after day 18 hour shifts and you’re still not making enough money at the end of the month to take care of all your bills and your lady is giving you all type of heat because you’re “not the man that you’re supposed to be.” That’s Pressure. What do you do? Do you turn to alcohol? Get high? Or do you try to escape some other way? Maybe you spend your last few dollars at the strip club so they can tell you beautiful lies about how much of the man you think you are but when in reality, you’re a coward using that club to hide from yourself. In that moment that’s who you are.
Pressure is exposing each of us. What do you do? You see, in order for a diamond to be formed, it has to go through intense heat and pressure over a prolonged period of time.
In each of us, God, the Creator of the universe is trying to pull the diamond from within us. And sometimes that means that we have to experience heat and pressure over a prolonged period of time throughout moments in our life. But we have to be willing to endure it.
Adversity has a way of introducing a man to whom self I hope you are happy with the person you’re introduced to.
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00:03 Speaker 1: Welcome to The Art of Hope podcast with your host Chadwick Sapenter.
00:08 Chadwick Sapenter: If you're willing to dream bigger than whatever your environment is then anything is possible.
00:12 S1: It's time to create the path to your success by overcoming your past, embracing your present and outlining your future.
00:20 CS: Today that goal becomes a reality.
00:22 S1: Every journey begins with the first step. So let's begin. The Art of Hope podcast.
00:32 CS: Welcome to The Art of Hope. This is episode seven. My name is Chadwick Sapenter. So today on episode seven we're gonna be talking about pressure. What is pressure? How are you dealing with pressure? What does it mean to experience pressure in your life? See, for many of us, there's pressure that comes externally. Family, friends, things like that, whether... Peer pressure and all of that type of shit but the real pressure that comes is with you deciding to become the person that you are supposed to be. The pressure... Pressure will expose you. Pressure will expose you for who you really are. It's going to define what it is you actually stand for when the heat gets turned up. You see, pressure is a process of squeezing all that is weak, all that is fragile, all that is timid out of us.
01:42 CS: And we need pressure. You see, because you don't know who you are when everything is comfortable. You don't know who you are when life is this fairytale where nothing goes wrong and everything goes your way and everybody likes you and everybody's giving you an opportunity and everybody's singing your praises and telling you how great you are. Because that's all bullshit. You don't know who you are in those moments. You don't know who you are until life punches you in the face. Until you're faced with disappointment and setback, and everything seems to go wrong, and you gotta make a decision, "Do I fold or do I go?" 'Cause see, that's what pressure does. Pressure busts pipes and creates diamonds. Pressure exposes us.
02:31 CS: See, I know I struggle with ease and comfort. Being at this point in my life right now is hard for me because it's not a lot of pressure. There's no serious threats of violence. I really don't feel like I'm gonna fail. My experiences have shown me if I do these things the right way then they'll work out. And that's scary as hell because I thrive under pressure. I appreciate having my back against the wall and having to make decisions with very little information and I just gotta act off of instinct. What do I know? Who am I? Pressure exposes that and it is exposing you too. You see, you thought that you could handle extreme circumstances. You thought that you could handle setbacks. You thought that you wanted to be an entrepreneur. You thought that you wanted to go to medical school or law school, you thought that you were ready to be a parent, and that it was gonna be all easy. See you thought these things, but then all of a sudden you lost all your money. Your investor backed out. You got a full-time job and you got school and you gotta figure how you're gonna pay rent. Your kids get sick, baby's mom is gone, baby's dad's gone, kid has an illness. Who are you? How you are responding to life's setbacks, pit stops and downfalls is who you are.
04:25 CS: All of us want to think that we're built for the tough times. But the truth is many of us are not. Many of us have made a decision that when the going gets tough, well hell, our asses get going. And that's what pressure does. Pressure exposes you. You gotta work that job, you... Four days in on 18-hour shifts, you're tired. And you're still not making enough money at the end of the week and at the end of the month to take care of all your bills and your lady is giving you all type of heat because you're not the man that you're supposed to be. Pressure. What do you do? You turn to the bottle. You leave to go get high. You try to escape some other way. You spend your last few dollars at the strip club so they can tell you beautiful lies about how much of the man you think you are but when in reality, you are a lazy piece of shit. That's who you are.
05:30 CS: And because even when you're at work, you're not really working, which is why you ain't got a promotion, which is why your boss is giving you shit all the time. Because you keep effing up. You're not doing what you're supposed to be doing. Or maybe you are and it's just not working out. But for the most part, I've seen... No, I won't say that. I'll say I believe because I have seen people bust their ass and it just not work out. And so I don't wanna look down on anybody that that's your reality. So, if that's you, if you're the person busting your ass, locked in, putting in the work, and things just aren't going your way, not you, not you. I'm celebrating you because you understand pressure. Because you're getting up everyday, you responded to it, and you're doing what you're supposed to be doing. I'm talking to the lazy son of a bitch that has decided that they would rather have fun or... They just don't feel like doing the things that they need to do. And maybe I'm hard on it because I hate those lazy things in me. I hate those areas of weakness in my life. The lies that I tell to myself about what I'm going to do and not doing it. Pressure is exposing all of us.
06:54 CS: And so what do you do when you get pressed? How do you respond when things are not working the way that they're supposed to? Where do you turn to? Do you flee? Do you retreat? Do you just soak in your emotions and your feelings, and you try to find people to make you feel better about feeling bad? Is that who you are? You need your mom to validate you because you're not handling this shit at home and so she can dog out your wife or your girlfriend because you've been a lazy asshole, you're not taking care of your kids the way you're supposed to, not because you're trying, but because you're actually too lazy because you wanna binge Netflix all damn day long. Because you have to get through your 12th season on NBA 2K. Or you really, man, you've been struggling to beat this team on Madden. That's you, you lazy asshole. That's who I'm talking to. Because it's okay to fail when you're working your ass off, but you're not a failure because you're lazy, you're not even a quitter. You just suck.
08:09 CS: And the pressure exposes you because the moment that you get called out on those things, usually what happens, and I'm talking to men right now, like the... I'm talking to males. How about that? Because some of you are men, you lazy assholes, and the people around you are suffering because you're lazy. And so, what we know is that when men fail to lead, chaos follows. When men fail to lead, chaos follows. Show me any broken family, show me any wayward child, and I'm gonna show you a father who's been absent either physically or emotionally or completely neglectful or abusive. You show me. And I'm gonna show you a man who didn't do what he was supposed to do. And so some of you think well, there aren't really that many opportunities out here where I'm from. So these jobs, man, they're not really paying nothing. Man, the fast food restaurants are only paying $10 an hour. I'll bust my ass and if I worked 10 now, that's 40 hours a week, $400, $1600 a month. I can make that in the weekend on the block selling a little of this, a little of that.
09:25 CS: And so you think it's a good alternative because the money's coming faster. That's what you think. But then what happens when you get busted. You get busted and now you're going to be spending the next 5-10 years in jail. So let's do some quick math. If you were to just take that $10 an hour assuming you never got a raise, you're working this job that you feel like is a dead-end job. So you're making $10 an hour, working 40 hours a week, that's $400 a week, let's say four weeks in a month, that's $1600 a month. Let's multiply that times 12. Let me get a calculator. Say 1600 times 12... All right, that's $19,200 a year. That's tough. It's not that much money. Now multiply that by 10 years. All right, that's only $192,000 over 10 years. That's a tough way to make a living, but here's the thing, it's 2019, you got access to Uber if you have a vehicle. If you have a bike, you can deliver food, grocery deliveries, there's a bunch of different ways to make extra money.
10:56 CS: There's all types of service in this sharing economy where you can make extra money, so you can... If that was your reality, you're only gonna make $10 an hour for whatever reason, $19,200 a year for 10 years, that's $192,000, so let's say, but then you say, "Okay, well shoot, in two days, I can make that same $1600 and do that every two days." All right, so let's just say if you make $1600 a week because that's all you really gotta work, $1600 a week times four, that's $6400 a week, times 12, that's $76,800. All right? $76,800 in a year. That's a lot more money compared. But now let's say you get away with this for two years. So for two years, you're making that $76,800. So, after two years, you get arrested, and you go to jail for that 10 years. You go to jail for 10 years. You made $153,600 in two years. Now I told you, if you worked that $10 an hour, $1600 a month, that would have been $192,000 after 10 years. Now okay, you say, "Well, shoot. The math makes more sense to make $1600 a week." But you just got arrested. So your silly ass is going to jail over $1600 a week.
12:18 CS: You're gonna spend jail... Be in jail for 10 years. Alright, now you're making no money or you've seen 13th, you're ass is enslaved. That's what you're doing. You're making 50 cents an hour or some shit, making honey buns for a company or sewing up socks or some shit. Fighting wildfires and they're never gonna hire you to be a firefighter. Some shit like that because your ass decided to make some quick money because you thought it was smart. This is really stupid. It's... I hope you hear it the tone of my voice. This is a dumbass decision. Don't do it. Now, let's go back. In two years, you made $153,600. You go to jail for 10 years so that means you're making zero. Now in that same 10 years, for that $153,600 that you gave up 10 years of your freaking life for, you would have made $192,000. So you would have came out on top, and you wouldn't had a damn cell with somebody who's shitting in the same dang prison as you, you would have had some freedom, you would have been able to figure some other stuff out.
13:17 CS: But nope, your ass is in jail. You're reading a lot of books and telling a bunch of lies to other dudes who made some dumbass decisions, some of them wrongfully but eh, we don't know. Everybody's innocent and shit. Okay, now you're in jail 10 years. You had three children in that time when you were out when you were the man because you can get... Your little Charger and shit with the rims or whatever.
13:40 CS: Fresh pair of Jordans. Wait... You got somebody who can wait in line for your ass. Because that's what's really important. Alright, 10 years your three children now, they were four, six and two when you went to jail. You've been gone for 10 years. Ten years, their father is gone for $153,600. Now they have nothing. Mom has to try to figure it out. So kids are raising themself on the streets. Some hustler that got their hands on your daughter impressing her with the same bullshit you was chasing. Now what? Now what?
14:15 CS: You said, "Man, I'll do anything for my kids. The pressure's on me. I gotta eat, I gotta do what I gotta do to eat" and all that stuff, or whatever. How the hell are your kids eating now? How they eating now? What are they doing? You did all that, all that that you said that was for them. You were willing to go to jail for 10 years for them, and deal with everything that comes with that. But you had too much pride to go make $10 an hour for 10 years. Never look down on a man willing to bust his ass and get to work. I don't care what the job is. You never look at somebody down willing to get up every single day and get to work.
14:58 CS: And if you're in a position where you say, "Man, that's a hard working man. Let me try to help him." That's what you should do. You should try to create opportunities so that this person can increase their earning potential. You don't get to look down on somebody willing to bust their ass and work. Now you lazy suckers, you dudes, you scapegoats. You, that is trying to find the easy way out. You that is sacrificing your entire family, your children's future, their legacy, over some bullshit weed. Over selling some pills. You, you a sucker. I don't care what they tell you, you a sucker.
15:34 CS: And there's nothing okay about that. We gotta do better. And listen, I'm saying this, my father was a sucker. He lost his life because he loved the streets more than he loved his children. So he died when I was eight years old. Addicted to heroin. Got AIDS from sharing drug needles. Streets don't love nobody. This pressure is exposing you. It's exposing your pride and who you are because you think that a real man is somebody who's gonna really be willing to get out on the block or whatever it is, to go get it. No the real man is gonna say, "Yo, I'm taking my ass to work and I'm gonna keep working here and when I'm off of here, I'm gonna try to get a new trade or a new skill so I can get better."
16:15 CS: Pressure is exposing each of us. All of us are being exposed. What do you do? What do you do? You see, in order for a diamond to be formed... In order for a diamond, this precious pristine jewel to be formed, it has to go through intense heat and pressure over a prolonged period of time. Intense heat and pressure over a prolonged period of time. In each of us, God, the Creator of the universe is trying to pull the diamond from within us. And sometimes that means that we have to experience heat and pressure over a prolonged period of time. But you have to be willing to endure it.
17:27 CS: You have to be willing to suffer under it, you have to be willing to be pressed and pressed, and pressed, and molded into that stone, and then be willing to display yourself as a flawless beautiful creation. You see, there's no shame in having to dust yourself off, stand up, and being willing to face humiliation, setbacks, shame, stumbling, failure, but getting up... But getting up, getting up. Learning something new. Becoming whatever it is that we need to be, developing the skill set. Earning our way. There's nothing wrong in it, there's no shame in that. There's no shame in having to do it the long way. There's no shame of having to go get your real estate license, your insurance license and say, "You know what, man, I'm gonna figure this out."
18:50 CS: There's no shame in that, there's no shame in saying, I'm going to take it the hard way, and the long way in the beginning, in order for me to get there. I'm talking to you, young man, young woman, grown man, grown woman, there's no shame in that. What you should be ashamed of is not following through on those things that you say you were going to do because the pressure gets too hot, or gets too tough, or it's taking too long, so you just give up, and you say, "Man, I'm just checking out because it's not gonna work out for me." That's what you should be ashamed of. That's what's always pissing me off about myself is that weakness that doesn't see through the things that I say I'm going to do. Forget anybody else's expectations, I owe it to me to follow through.
19:39 CS: I owe it to me to overcome. I have not gone through these things, I have not experienced this heat and this pressure in my life, just to stay the same. I haven't made it through these trials just so that I can be the same person and neither have you. You see, your life, for some of you, is just working out. It's an easy road, it's smooth, it's frictionless, for some of you that's the reality, and I respect it, if that's your reality. And I appreciate it. I want that type of reality for my children. But the truth is, even if I try to make the road that they have to face as easy as possible, they're still gonna face their own trials. They're still going to be things that happen in their life that they need to overcome. The pressure, whether it be the pressure of expectations, the pressures of having privilege, the pressure of having desires, is going to eat at them, and it will expose them in the same way that it is exposing each of you, and the same way that pressure has exposed me.
21:00 CS: You see, pressure is not the problem. Pressure is a part of the process. Pressure is exposing us. What's inside of you is coming out the longer you're pressed. So who are you? Who are you now, and who do you need to become in order to endure the intense heat and pressure that is required to make you a diamond?
21:33 CS: Thank you guys for tuning in. This is episode seven of the Art of Hope Show. Please like, subscribe, leave a comment, leave a five star review, and thank you for coming with me on this journey, helping me keeping a promise to myself of me putting myself out there, and being willing to be criticized a little bit. Well, I can take it, I can take the heat. So let me know what pressure you face. What's some pressure you face? How are you overcoming it? Don't fold. Don't bend. Don't break. The pressure's coming, but you built for it.