What’s good world? This is artist, Dee Ace, contributing my first blog post to the Shift Culture blog. I was given this exercise by a mentor of mine who is equally striving to change the world just as we here at Tunnel VSN are. The 5 years, $300 million exercise really touched me and was very inspirational, so powerful that I had to turn it into a post to share with the rest of the world. I strongly encourage everyone to indulge in this exercise and see what they would come up with. Below is the scenario of what the exercise is followed by my response. Without any further hesitation, let’s get to it.
What if today, you received THE news… You have 5 years left to live, and there is no cure to survive. Think of the implications…family, friends, unfulfilled promises, unresolved issues, the things you want to do,the places you want to travel, and all your unfulfilled potential. Imagine your last day, and your conversation with God – how would you answer if He asked the question – “my child, I gave you life, and blessed you with talents, gifts, and opportunity. What did you do with them?”
As the news sinks in, you stop at a convenient store to grab a bottle of water, and low & behold you see a piece of paper on the ground. It’s the bittersweet irony of life: the winning State lottery ticket worth $300 million!! Now you have the resources to use your last 5 years to do anything you want. The question is will you just pass the time as another anonymous figure in history, or will you do something special and leave a legacy?
How will you use your last 5 years and the $300 million? Make a list of at least 30 (try for 40, 50 or even 101) things you want to do. Indulge in your dreams, take care of your family & friends, or start a new rich spending spree.
Don’t be practical – use your imagination!! Where would you go for your shopping spree? What kind of experiences do you want? Who do you want to meet? Who do you want to help? What do you want to do for them, and why? What will you do to make others & yourself smile, and make a lasting difference? What pain do you want to fix? What injustice do you want to right? What will you do to make your mark in the world?
Once you’ve made your list:
● Pick the 5 answers that mean the most to you and estimate the cost to do them
● Write down why they mean so much to you
● Make notes of anything you learned about yourself
● Make notes of anything that moved you emotionally
1. Pay off student loans for myself and my mom
2. Have a son with the woman of my dreams
3. Release a album, deemed as a classic
4. Set Tunnel VSN up for never ending success
5. Build a studio
6. Produce for my favorite artists
7. Release a cartoon series
8. Buy land across the world
9. Sky dive
10. Buy all my favorite shoes
11. Travel the world
12. Pay off moms house and bills
13. Perform at a major arena
14. Help the kids who lack vision purpose and confidence
15. Change the entertainment industry for the better
16. Find my true purpose
17. Attend an NBA Finals game courtside and attend the Super Bowl
18. Help create NBA 2k & get involved with NBA in some capacity
19. Master the piano
20. Build a visionary school for all ages of life
21. Make a global impact and end terminal diseases, such as cancer/aids. Preserve the nature of Earth
22. Develop partnership with Dreamville & partnerships with other young world changers
23. Uncover the hidden truths of the world & life overall. Becoming so enlightened with the universe that I essentially become a supreme being in human form
24. Create my entire clothing line for my own wardrobe
25. Build/design my dream house
26. Help create & see the success of other black owned businesses
27. Lay the path and foundation for my family to sustain a rich legacy
28. Create a cultural phenomenon where everyone becomes their true selves
30. Watch a surgery
31. Turn Houston,TX into a entertainment hub but the first of it’s kind
32. Become a billionaire
33. Create a mobile device application
34. Build & design a interactive game system
35. Construct a NBA team
36. Design personal jewelry chains that have the most meaning to me
37. Shift the Culture & flip the power leverage for blacks
38. Vacation in exotic places for my birthdays
39. Shop all around the world
40. Create the next form of transportation
41. Team with God to diffuse hate & evil extreme crimes while leading the world back to a place that God proud of
42. Have a studio session with all my music idols
43. Buy an island
Out of the list above, pick the 5 that you would most want to do.
1. Have a son
2. Set Tunnel VSN up for never ending success
3. Release a album, to be recognized as a classic
4. Build a visionary school for all ages of life
5. Buy land across the world
1. I want to have a son to carry on my legacy and to have a piece of myself still here once I am gone. I grew up without my father being present so it has always been a dream of mine to not just have a child but a son in particular to raise him up and guide him into becoming a man. I always wanted someone to do that for me & I would be further blessed to be in that financial state to make that happen.
Honestly, because of my current circumstances, it’s almost as if I know my son already exist. Not here in the physical world but somewhere in God’s realm he has already created the perfect son for me to have and although I’m not ready for him now, I feel his presence and have already started to use that presence as motivation to get myself and my life where I want it to be for his arrival.
2. Setting up Tunnel VSN for never ending success, would be accomplished so that the company would continue to make an impact long after I’m gone. I can’t even begin to describe all of the plans and VSN’s we have for this company. This is more than just a company, more than just a plan for profit. This is a way of life we are creating that will change the entire world by focusing on creativity and individuality of oneself. Especially in a world where it is currently the norm to not only stay in a box, but a world where many people emulate each other instead of simply being themselves. Furthermore, most people don’t even know their own true selves. Our goal is to change that the best way we possibly can and leave the legacy for our children & their children to pick up and continue.
3. This is one of my personal dreams and goals to inspire the world through my art and leave my voice on earth. Even before I knew consciously I wanted to make music as a part of my living, the signs were always there. My love for music across all genres was always evident, the process of creating these bodies of work I enjoyed, from the lyrics, to production, all the way down to the liner notes that come in the packaging of albums. I was always curious to know things such as who was the executive producer? Marketing? What label was it released under? Who was the A&R?
I was passionate even about just reading different artist thank you’s & the credits, everything about the process intrigued me. For me to have an album that is regarded as a “classic”, a critically acclaimed project, is something words can’t describe. I’m not worried about the financial gain that may come from this success but I’m more concerned with the impact that it has on lives around the world and at the end of the day that’s what the passion and purpose for the art is about for me.
I always admired how historically certain musician’s art live on past their physical time here on earth. We acknowledge and praise so many artists that are no longer here with us but their music, voices, and art still live on. Whether that’s 2 Pac and Biggie from the early 90’s era for example or even someone such as Beethoven from the late 18th century. So long ago yet we still study his classical work to this day. That’s what I want to have my art be; timeless.
4. Before creating this list, it was never a thought in my entire 23 years of existence to create a school but something nudged at me during this process. It went hand in hand with my overall VSN for how I want to change the world. With this school, I want to create a radical learning system focusing on the things that are not promoted enough in life and tap into everyone’s God given gifts. To not suppress people’s dreams or limit them but actually figure out a way to make those aspirations attainable. If someone had a VSN to do a “job” that hasn’t been created yet, we shouldn’t put their idea down or discourage them because it doesn’t exist; HELP THEM! Don’t force them into societal standards but have them look inside themselves to find their true purpose and calling in life, lining that up with their passions. Truly teaching the dreamers to make a life out of making an impact instead of pushing everyone’s VSN’s to the side for things such as geometry , for example. It’s not to say that they shouldn’t learn these things at all but when’s the last time you used that since you left that class? Don’t worry, I’ll wait… Stop testing students for memorization and using these outdated practices for learning that don’t even apply to them. Great leaders, coaches, teachers, mentors, & etc. don’t teach each person the same way, so why is our school system set up that way?
Learn the student your teaching and format the curriculum around that persons style. That’ll change the entire purpose and stigma about school from the student’s perspective.
5. The last one is simple for me. Land holds much more value than money. We can literally create a standard of living if we owned land. We strive so much for currency in today’s society, and rightfully so because we have to live off of it but what if the country’s economic system collapsed tomorrow? That $30 million USD that’s in the bank? Gone. The dollar value essentially wouldn’t mean anything anymore because it was never backed by anything. The way we purchase food be totally reversed & we would be wondering how do we eat? But by investing in land, we would forever be able make a living for ourselves by irrigating & cultivating the land. Thats why land will always hold value. Don’t just think rich, but think wealthy. Never put all your eggs in one basket, invest in different GLOBAL assets.
1. Son: Priceless until he’s here.
2. Tunnel VSN: $1 million. I calculated this number with the idea in mind that by investing $1 million in Tunnel VSN, we can start a revenue cycle that will grow. That initial $1 million would be invested & reinvested into much more than that off of profits. Making it a easy way to constantly recycle back into the business and different ideas.
3. Classic Album: $500,000. To make the best album we can possibly make, the best marketing & promo campaign , the best cover art, and all the costs associated with the recipe. To also get the people I truly want involved in this development process.
4. Building a school: $100,000,000. This number is based on a loose projection from research on how much it costs to actually build a school. I estimated on the high end knowing what type of school I want to create and knowing there will not be a preface for this. Also factored into this estimation was with the pre-notion that other people will involved in the creation of this school so it won’t just be my monetary investment. The $100,000,000 is based of off my contribution only and because I believe in the idea that much to invest.
5. Land: $100,000,000. Land prices all across the world varies based on location & other factors. Given that I was giving $300,000,000 initially, I wanted to invest $100,000,000 of that to create assets outside of just currency.
I learned that I’m really not money motivated in the grand scheme of God’s plan for me. Of course I want to make money but I don’t allow it to control me and become my almighty end. I use it as a tool and a resource, not a way of life. I don’t center my thoughts around just money but about my passions and purpose and then figure out how to turn those into profits to sustain a living. Again, I learned I want to build a creative school. I never had this thought before but quickly it has become something that I am very passionate about and crazy enough to believe that I will accomplish this. Also, a lot of my ideas on this list fall under a few main ideas, which tells me that my mindset is focused even though it may not appear to be. Before the exercise, I felt I like I wanted to do a bunch of random things in life that didn’t necessarily relate to each other, but I was passionate about them all. Now after writing this out and being able to visually see it, I can see that even though they may not be related to each other on the surface, the mindset towards these things is centered around my true self and individuality.
I confirmed and realized that I firmly believe I can accomplish these goals. This is not just a list of wishful thinking for me, nor was it just an exercise. This is my life and before you can accomplish anything, you have to have a belief and faith that you can. Trying this exercise will definitely teach you about your own self, not only presently, but who you want to become.
Lastly, this list was tougher than I thought it would be to compile. I am still adding things to the list as I think of new ideas. It’s easy to make a list of basic things like “I want to buy 30 cars,” but that is not the purpose of the exercise. It challenges you to think and while making this list I kept referring back to the question God asks in the scenario, “my child, I gave you life, and blessed you with talents, gifts, and opportunity. What did you do with them?” I let that question drive my list and I hope you all do the same.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day cycle that we live in but we must always remember we are here for a purpose. We’re not just living so take the time out to find and nurture your true self, your passions, and your own purpose. It’s cool to dabble in other things of the world during this lifetime don’t get me wrong but never let the thought of why we are truly here drift too far from your mind.
I hope this post serves as some inspiration, clarity, or anything else that you may find in it. Let us know what your list would look like and why. Take care of your VSN’s and Shift Culture.
– Dee Ace