Posts tagged #youth motivational speaker

The Journey of Success, Part VIII, The Shift

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”—Norman Vincent Peale

A week ago, I met up with a friend and accountability partner who reads my blogs. He told me how my blogs make it seem like I am crying and sad. Totally not what I intended and definitely not what I expected to hear, but I appreciated his honest assessment.

When things aren’t going well, it’s easy to start doubting yourself and throw in the towel on your dreams. However, that’s when “the shift” must occur.

A shift is defined as a change in position. Therefore, the shift I refer to is the shift that must occur in our mind. When we see things not functioning, automatically our minds will tell us, “It’s not going to work. You’re a failure.”  

That’s exactly what I’ve experienced lately as I’ve pursued my dream, but a reason why I have not quit is because of the shift in my thought process.

The most important person that can speak life into you is YOU. You have the power to dictate how your life will turn out. I know it’s far easier to give up than it is to go on. However, I am here to tell you to go on.

Go on after your dreams.

Go on and better yourself.

Go on and love again.

It’s not easy to think positive. Not when negative people at work surround us. Not when the majority of things we hear are negative. Yet, our success is dependent on how we think and what we speak into our life.

Here are five things you can do today to live more positively and create a shift in your mind that will help you on your journey of success.

1.     Observe and listen – Are your thoughts negative? Listen to what you are speaking in your life. If it’s negative. Stop it right there.

2.     Smile – Life is not perfect. You will experience difficulties, but even in the midst of them, find something that makes you smile.

3.     Exercise – Go for a walk, jog, or lift weights. You don’t have to spend hours in a gym. Do one of these things for thirty minutes to reduce stress and to positively affect your mood.

4.     Influences – Are the people in your life adding value to you? Or are they subtracting from you? Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and lift you up when you are down.

5.     Speak positively! – Tell yourself you are going to make it. Things may look bad now, but know they will not stay that way. Say a positive phrase everyday. It doesn’t have to be long. It can simply be: I will not quit! 

“Two men looked out from prison bars,

One saw the mud, the other saw stars.”—Dale Carnegie

What do you see?

Which one of the five things will you do today? Share with me in the comments below.

About the author:  A.C. Cristales
Youth Motivational Speaker, consultant, and future pro on the Senior PGA tour. 

The Journey of Success, Part II, Outliers


According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers, his research found that success is not dependent solely on natural talent. Practice is what sets apart the elite performers from the average ones. In fact, his research shows that if you practice something for 10,000 hours, you will become a master at it.

The  “greats” know that nothing achieved easily is ever truly impactful. The ones who work diligently on their craft are the ones who experience the greatest triumphs.

We live in a world where we want things easy. We want to pick up a basketball and automatically think that we will shoot jumpers like Kevin Durant. Not going to happen. Personally, every time I walk onto a golf course and swing my driver, I think it’s going to go at least two hundred and fifty yards. Not even close.

Golf has taught me that you can’t just attempt something once and actually believe you’re going to be great at it. I’ve only played for three years, and although I’ve gotten better at it, the only reason that has happened is because of the hours I’ve spent on a driving range and golf course. However, if I didn’t invest that time, why should I expect better results?

The same is true for anyone chasing after his or her dreams. Why should you expect a reward if you’re not investing your time and efforts to pursue your dream?

You want to be a professional athlete? Do you practice above and beyond the hours mandated by your coach?

You want to own a restaurant? Have you read books on how to run a restaurant, or sought wisdom by talking to somebody in the food service industry?

You want to be a doctor? What are your study habits like?

It is easy to want a thing, but it takes dedication and determination to work for a thing.

Now that school is back in session here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I will take advantage of it by speaking in as many schools that open their doors for me.

The first school I spoke at this semester was Frankford Middle School. I spoke to five classes, each fifty minutes. That’s almost five hours added to the more than 10,000 hours I already have on my resume since I started speaking to young people at the age of fifteen.

The five hours were exhausting, but they were worth it. Many would think I am crazy for speaking for five consecutive hours, but I am committed. I am committed to being faithful to the 25 to 30 students in each class knowing that my time with them is preparing me for the day when I speak to 2500 to 3000 people.

One student, whose parents came to pick him up early, would not leave until I finished my speech. My hope is that he took something from what I said and he realizes there IS greatness inside of him. That is my hope for everyone I speak to.

Empowering people to go after their dreams…that’s the mission and the mission is alive! Therefore, the journey continues. Even if it means I have 10,000 MORE hours before the world realizes I am a master communicator.

What are you practicing or working on today that will help you fulfill your dreams?


Here's Your Ninja Turtle!

If you haven’t heard by now, or if summer movies just aren’t your thing, a re-boot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out last Friday. Why am I choosing to write about that? It’s quite simple. When I was in elementary school, all I wanted was a Ninja Turtle action figure.

Youth Motivational Speaker - Ninja Turtle Story

I remember one day one of my classmates coming to school with a Michelangelo Ninja Turtle action figure. I asked him who gave it to him. His response was, “the tooth fairy.”

Now, I grew up poor and therefore I knew early that there was no Santa Claus. Since there wasn’t a Santa Claus, I also knew there sure wasn’t a Tooth Fairy either. Nevertheless, one evening I purposely made a loose tooth fall out. I placed the tooth under my pillow and hoped that the next morning, I would find a Ninja Turtle.

You can already guess what I found. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I remember asking my mom, “Where’s my Ninja Turtle?” She looked at me like I was crazy because A.) She didn’t know what a Ninja Turtle was and B.) She knew that I knew she had no money to buy me a toy.

Her response was, “Ninja que? (Ninja, what?)...Ninja nada (Ninja nothing). I have some black beans for you though. “

Was I disappointed? Absolutely. However, I knew that although my mother couldn’t afford to buy me toys, she always made sure my brother and I were fed. Even if we did eat “frijoles negros” (black beans) every day, they were the best tasting black beans I could ever asked for, except when she was furious with me and added extra onions.

I’m proud to say twenty-four years later I finally got my Ninja Turtle. About three months ago, I spoke to an AVID class at Garland High School. After my keynote, which included the Ninja Turtle story, the teacher just so happen to have a Ninja Turtle action figure in her classroom and she gave it to me. Pretty cool moment!

We may not always get what we want when we want it. But you never know. Ten, fifteen, twenty-five years later, we just might get it.

“Go Ninja. Go Ninja. Go.”(in Vanilla Ice style, of course).