New Opportunities Class

Chancellor Bernard Gleton with The Genesis Project Podcast logo in the upper right hand corner

by Bernard Gleton     •     September 9, 2021     •     New Opportunities Class

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What's Your "I AM" Statements?

There was a time in my life where I wanted more and knew that I could have more. I was lucky to have been raised in a home where statements like, "You are destined for greatness", "You are smart", "You are a genius", "You are talented", "You are more than enough", echoed throughout my house. I was even luckier to be raised in a house where all of that was reinforced in me. Whenever a disappointment happened to me, a stint of depression, or something just didn't go as expected, one or both of my parents would repeat those statements until I believed what they were saying to be true about me. No matter if I believed it to be true, the more and more they repeated those phrases to me, forced me to believe it about myself.

After my short career in sports came to an end, and I had to figure out what I was going to do with my life. I battled with depression, low self-esteem, and I just had a real negative outlook on myself and my life. Much like when a service member returning back to civilian life, I've dealt with the difficulty of dealing with people, a short temper, extreme isolation, and maybe even a bit of being impatient more times than I care to mention. It was in those alone times I thought back to what my parents and even my circle would say to me, to build me up. 


I still deal with things, but hardly as much as I used to. With therapy and being transparent about my feelings and being honest, I've been able to accomplish things that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to accomplish. I've had plenty of revelations about myself, my thoughts, my feelings, and even what I hope/plan to accomplish in my future. I took what would have been otherwise failed situations, and turned them into opportunities. These opportunities took me from a place of despair to a place of fresh air and clarity of life and goals.

Thinking about the other day within my moments of meditation and vision building, it hit me what I was doing all along. I call it, the "I AM" Statements. These are statements that I spoke over myself and my life, as well as my future. Let's unpack this a little more so you can have more clarity.

We were made in the likeness of our maker, regardless of your religious preference, this will serve as the basis. Our maker spoke into existence the things that he wanted to come about. "Let there be light!", the light appeared, for an example. "Whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea', and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him......" Of course, there are countless others but with all of this in mind, here 3 Tips that I've used to prepare myself for opportunities.

Tip #1



I was leading up to this, but the first tip is Self-Talk. Self-talk is important because YOU have the power to get whatever you want and desire. If your self-talk is riddled with "I'm not worthy of this and that", then you will never get what you truly want. There was a reason why my parents constantly fed me with those I AM statements because anytime I start doubting myself and not living up to my true potential, believing in those I AM statements, even if it's for a brief moment, will be enough to get me over that hump. 

To improve your self-talk, you have to improve the conversations that you are having with yourself. Instead of telling yourself "I can't" or "I won't", replace those statements with "I can" and "I will". You can only control the way you start your day and end your day, so if you get up and start saying "I can", "I will" and end your day saying that, your body and mind have to follow what you command it to do. Is this going to be easy? No, and it won't happen overnight either. You got to think about all the years you've been saying that you "CAN'T" or "WON'T". It will take time for your mind and body to actually do what you tell it, that it "CAN DO" and "WILL DO". Someone once asked me, "How do you get the dirt out of a glass of water without pouring it out?" The answer is you pour new water into the glass until the dirt flows out from the side. Your negative self-talk is the dirt, your "I AM" statements are the freshwater being poured into that glass. Watch what you say to yourself because yourself is listening.

Tip #2

What you SEE, you will BECOME.


That moment in time when I made the decision to go into the tech field, the department store I was working at, at the time was closing its doors for good, I had no money besides unemployment (that was constantly being threatened stop), I barely had a place to stay, but once I made my mind up that this is what I was going to do, I had to reinvent myself. I had to kill the old me and create a brand new, 2.0 version of myself. But I had to figure out what the new me was going to look like, walk like, talk like, breathe like, and think like.

To do that, I surrounded my room with pictures of people who were thinkers, speakers, and who were creative. People like Albert Einstein, Leonardo Di Vinci, and Malcolm X just to name a few. I read books that challenged me mentally and forced me to think. I read books that reinforced my belief in myself. And proved to be the toughest for me as a single twenty-something-year-old guy, I didn't go out on dates or go partying. It was EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to not mingle with women. That forced me to be extremely isolated and focus, and because I am an extrovert, I only came out of my room to interact with roommates who were my best friends since middle and high school. 


I visualized the life that I wanted, the career that I wanted, the respect I wanted, and the type of meaningful relationships I wanted. Between my studies with school to be in the tech field, I would meditate and visualize in detail, what my life would look like. I would do it in the morning when I wake up and at night before I go to sleep, every day. The times I wanted to be lazy or give up, I would go back to visualizing what I wanted my future to be like, and I would get the motivation to get back to studying. Everything that I visualized over 10 years ago, all started happening. Now I've achieved everything that I had visualized back then. So to reiterate, what you SEE, you will BECOME.

A person looking at an cell phone that reads "Opportunity Knocks".
Photo by Dylan McLeod on Unsplash

Tip #3



This is one of my favorites quotes that I live by. How can you look for opportunities or get into an opportunity if you're not prepared for it? Can you be fully prepared? No, but you should be somewhat prepared. Preparation for opportunities will only come when you're studying those opportunities. If you want to get into the stock market, you can't just jump right into buying stocks. You'll lose your money that way. You might be financially prepared, but you're not mentally prepared because of your lack of knowledge of the stock market. However, if you study the stock market until you get financially prepared to start dealing with stocks, then you've put in the work necessary to prepare your mind for the stock market. And when I say study, I mean you're listening to the experts, reading books about it, you're executing paper trades (which is you practicing your trading without money), then you've put in the necessary work to be prepared for your opportunity to jump into trading stocks. 

I used to tell my engineering interns that because they are in a very unique position because they can see what companies are working on what, and where technology could go, more so than just some regular Joe on the street. Why? Because they have to know what is going on in their field to determine what is going to be a viable product and what will be a hit on the market. For example, all of the tech geeks, I'm sure, were telling people to invest in Google or Apple, but because the regular Joes have no idea what is going on in the tech world, they let their moment to jump in, pass them buy. Do you know how many millionaires and possibly billionaires that would have created if they listened to the tech geeks? Not saying that they are going to get everything right, but the tech geeks are able to see the landscape differently than a regular Joe. Once you prepare yourself mentally, you will start to see things differently because you've trained your mind to see things differently. That's when opportunities start to come. Now you're able to see opportunities where no one else can.

What You SEE, You Will BECOME.

Bonus Tip #4

You are the sum of your 5 CLOSEST FRIENDS.


You've no doubt heard this phrase before and whether you believe it or not, I'm here to tell you that it is completely true. Although in my household, it's more so "If You're Friends With 4 BUMS, Guess Who The 5th BUM IS". I remember telling my kids and mentees this every chance I get because it can mean the difference between being a productive citizen or going for a joyride with one of your friends in a stolen car that you didn't know was stolen. Or you driving your car and getting pulled over and one of your friends is illegally carrying a gun, and you didn't know about it. We've all seen it before, rather it was in real life or even on television. Although there's a lot of things on TV that are fake and made-up, every once in a while, art imitates life. 

I'm throwing in this bonus tip because you can get pretty far with just the 3 tips I gave you, but I want you to take it above and beyond so this is probably the most important tip I can give you. I believe you have to do the first 3 tips in order, but this particular tip, you can add with any of the tips above. Oftentimes it will be your circle of friends and/or family that will keep you going down the right road or push you down the wrong road. Either way, you have to stretch yourself to meet and interact with new people. Take the jump and connect with people. These tips are all about pushing you out of your comfort zone, killing the old you, and to birth a new and improved you. Once you start meeting and talking to people who are after the same or similar goals, what you start to do is to compare notes. You start collaborating on ideas that can expand your thinking and potentially pushing you in the direction of opportunities. Now you're probably wondering how do you meet new people, so I'm going to take it a step further and throw out some ways to meet new people. Here is where you can meet new people:

  • Facebook Groups
  • Networking Events
  • Meetups
  • Eventbrite (there are some really cool events that people have on there. Just thumb your way through it.)
Guest professor Rajai Kaldani sitting on steps
Guest professor Rajai Kaldani

Guest professor Rajai Kaldani has been introduced to me because he had a unique opportunity. Hence the name of the class. Guest professor Rajai has had some INCREDIBLE Genesis Moments that brought him to where he is today. He spent time in the military, had an incredible bout with depression where he almost committed suicide, to find his way out of that hole and finding his stride within entrepreneurship. Listen to how he has found opportunities and now creates opportunities for others.

Make sure you check out everything Rajai Kaldani got going on, by connecting with him at:


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