Estimated reading time: 11 minute(s)
Erykah Badu’s saying rings pretty true, “The man who knows something, knows that he knows nothing at all”.
Many of us think we know what it takes to be happy. Many of us think that if we had more money, charisma, a nice car, and house we would be living the “All the Way Up” Lifestyle. But, in truth, we’ll never really know if the French Montanas and the Floyd Mayweathers of the world are truly happy and spiritually content with who they are.
Peace of mind and obedience to the Creator are two things that are usually overshadowed by the giltz and glam of material possessions. However, when I first heard the term “All the Way Up” listening to Fat Joe on my radio, my mind immediately thought about the feeling of being high on your own supply- your own supply of greatness, resilience, love, righteousness, knowledge, self confidence, and the list goes on. I used to think as an artist I had to have millions of fans and be traveling all around the world in order to be a “Real” artist who really “Made it”. Of course I’m still capable of doing all of those things and more, however, now I’m learning to feel just as proud of myself when ONE person tells me how my music influenced and inspired them. I can feel just as good when I perform my music for a small classroom at a middle school and see the light flicker in a thirteen year olds eyes when they watch me do my pieces. I’m learning that I don’t have to wait until I get a nice car (that I don’t have to always take to the shop because the engine check light is on. smile.) in order to feel All The Way Up’! Of course I’m going to strive daily to improve my outer conditions but I first must start with my inner conditions- heart, mind, and spirit.
All of my musical projects are professional, high quality, and sound amazing not because I have a lot of money to pay for what it’s worth, but because I felt just as good and excited recording my first mixtape in Zin’s house (May he rest in peace) as I do now in a nice studio, so God opened doors for me that were unheard of. I felt just as grateful on my college campus of Howard University sitting the school camera on a tripod and recording my first music video on the yard as I do now after God led me to an actual company, Shafilms, who now shoots my videos.
I’m learning that I can feel all the way up just thinking about the fact that I woke up this morning and was given another chance at life while many can’t say that. I can feel all the way up eating a good meal with a friend and catching up. What do we really know about happiness if we think that we have to achieve elaborate goals and have these major triumphant moments in order to feel all the way up? Putting out good quality music and visuals is just a way I express my love for God giving me my gift and talent. You have gifts and talents as well that you express or should express in order to show gratitude. There is nothing more fulfilling than doing what you were put on this earth to do.
Minister Louis Farrakhan, a great man and freedom fighter for the oppressed, teaches us that finding and living out your purpose in life is ultimately the key to living the ‘All The Way Up’ lifestyle. It’s the key to an unspeakable joy. When we start to understand that every day, every hour, every second we are presented with an opportunity to live ‘All The Way Up’, then we will stop waiting for worldly symbols of success to get us high on life- because guess what?… All of that material gain is fleeting. However, those “ethereal” traits that we tend to overshadow like good character, humility, courage, and righteousness are the very traits that sustain and serve as a foundation for a true ‘All the Way Up’ life.
I pray that we all start thinking about ways to get closer to this kind of lifestyle, to embrace this lifestyle, and to encourage others to live this lifestyle by being true to themselves, their families, and their communities. We truly can reach unthinkable heights when we start evolving inwardly and enjoying the journey! How high might you ask? I’m talking ALL THE WAY UP!
(Keep up with Akilah Nehanda on Twitter @AkilahNehanda and Instagram @AkilahNehanda. Subscribe to her YouTube Channel. Be on the lookout for the release of her “All The Way Up” Remix video on June 28th)