Is lifestyle optimization for you? It probably is, if you’re willing to take action. The reluctance to seek an optimal life is usually rooted in self-doubt, fear and indoctrination. Here are some of the most common doubts, fears, and misguided beliefs that people have before they decide to seek abundant life:

Do I have to move out of my Black residential neighborhood to optimize my lifestyle?

Yes (except for increasingly rare exceptions). You can’t optimize your lifestyle when you are living in physical danger. It’s time to face the truth that it is no longer safe to live within the so-called Black community. It’s time to face the truth that the greatest danger to any individual Black person’s life is usually found inside Black residential areas.

Most of you know this in your hearts. You might not want to admit this out loud, but you know this is true. With most Black residential areas, each day that you remain there you are playing Russian Roulette with your life and your loved ones’ lives. Don’t wait for your luck to run out, or for your loved ones’ luck to run out. Like Blair Holt’s and Derrion Albert’s luck ran out in Chicago. Or countless other African-Americans’ luck runs out everyday within Black residential areas.

Do I have to move to a suburb to optimize my lifestyle?

No. I’m not saying to run to or from cities or suburbs. The distinction I’m making is not between city or suburb. I’m saying that African-Americans who want to survive and thrive must evacuate Black residential areas. In short, we must run from places where there are heavy concentrations of other Black folks. Black residential areas are generally violent, dangerous places to live.

I’m saying to flee to nonblack areas because nonblacks still have the will and the common sense to protect themselves and their areas from predators. Somewhere along the way during the 1960s, African-Americans became confused about the need to defend ourselves against predators. We adopted an ideology of coddling and caressing criminals. Now things have reached the point that many African-Americans will defend and minimize any atrocity committed by Black predators. (For examples, see the many inappropriate responses to the R. Kelly case, the Dunbar Village gang rape case, the Hovey Street murders, and too many other outrages to mention.)

As a result, most African-Americans have lost the common sense and will needed to uphold safety in our own areas. We resist anything likely to be effective in fighting violent crime. We don’t want to hire private, armed security. We don’t want to take up arms ourselves for self-defense. Much of the time, we don’t even want the predators arrested and imprisoned. Instead, we want to recite failed mantras about mostly nonexistent and ineffective “alternatives” to imprisoning predators.

Since African-Americans have become too confused to take the actions needed to safeguard our own lives, we need to “borrow” the benefits of other people’s common sense and will. We must flee to nonblack areas where the residents have the common sense and will to do what is needed to protect themselves against predators.

I’m an African-American woman; do I have to move out of my Black residential neighborhood to optimize my chances for marriage?

Yes. There is a numerical disparity between African-American men and African-American women. There simply aren’t enough Black men to meet the needs of every Black woman who wants marriage. The physical numbers aren’t there. This is before screening out the African-American men who are unfit and unable to be competent husbands and fathers (such as the violent criminals, the drug addicts, the gay men, and the men who engage in domestic violence).

The physical numbers aren’t there even before also screening out the numbers of African-American men who are unfit and unwilling to be competent husbands and fathers when it comes to Black women and Black children. We have to subtract the numbers of Black men who have a fetish for nonblack flesh, nonblack women, and so-called “biracial” children.

I’m referring to the Black men who have self-hating, Black-hating double standards about women and children. Black men who have the same attitudes expressed by Ne-Yo (“all the good-looking kids are light-skinned”) and Yung Berg (“I don’t date dark butts”). Black men whose behavior is very similar to the double standards that self-hating African-American consumers have for Black-owned businesses. These Black men will happily marry obese, “trailer park” nonblack women, but demand that Black women be as near flawless as diamonds. This is exactly parallel to the way that many African-American consumers will flock to filthy and rude Arab- and Korean-owned businesses, while demanding that Black-owned businesses look and act like the jewelers at Cartier.

I would prefer that African-Americans set and meet the highest standards in both examples. But quality is not what’s motivating these particular choices.

There are other men in the global village who appreciate African-American women’s beauty, resilience and high spirits just the way they are; and who would want to be protectors and providers for individual African-American women. Most African-American women have had the experience of being approached respectfully by nonblack, non-African-American men. The problem is that most African-American women immediately reject these men because they’re holding out for a Black-American man. This posture is a life-damaging mistake for African-American women. Our mothers’ generation could afford to take that posture, but modern African-American women can’t afford this. Not those women who want marriage and legitimate families.

All a marriage-minded woman needs is one husband. Black women who are serious about marriage need to expand their dating and marriage prospects to include these other men. A marriage-minded Black woman needs to position herself so a large pool of quality men, including nonblack men, can find her. These other men are not walking around, or living in, Black residential areas.

But what about “Black love”?

What about it? African-American women are the only group of people on this planet who worry about “Black love” to their own detriment. Black men have never let “Black love” or any other ideology stop them from dating and marrying White or other nonblack women.

Overall, Black men have not reciprocated Black women’s sense of obligation to the Black community. Judging from outward actions and words, most Black men are not concerned about building Black marriages and Black families. Only Black women seem to be preoccupied with “Black love” and “the Black family.”

Black men generally don’t question other Black men’s decision to chase and marry nonblack women. Only Black women seem to be preoccupied with Black men’s reproductive and marriage choices, and how these choices impact the Black community.

For the most part, the “what about Black love,” “what about the Black community,” and “what about the Black race” questions are only directed at Black women who are considering expanding their dating and marriage horizons. These questions are not directed at the Black men who date and marry nonblack women. These questions are also not directed at the Black men who exploit Black women.

Black women cannot build healthy Black marriages and Black families by themselves.

Were the following (and countless other) Black men worried about “Black love”? Amiri Baraka, Charles Barkley, Harry Belafonte, Billy Blanks, Julian Bond, Taye Diggs, Father Divine, Frederick Douglass, Julius Erving (Dr. J), Frantz Fanon, Marvin Gaye, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Gregory Hines, Rick James, James Earl Jones, Quincy Jones, Van Jones, Reginald Lewis, Thurgood Marshall, Major Owens, Sidney Poitier, Adam Clayton Powell, Prince, Richard Pryor, Lou Rawls, Lionel Richie, Dennis Rodman, Seal, Russell Simmons, O.J. Simpson, Wesley Snipes, Clarence Thomas, Melvin Van Peebles, Ben Vereen, Herschel Walker, Walter White, John Edgar Wideman, Billy Dee Williams, Montel Williams.

No, these Black men (and many others) didn’t let worries about “Black love” limit their lives. Since Black men don’t let worries about “Black love” stop them from doing whatever is best for themselves, there is no sense in so many African-American women worrying about “Black love” to their detriment. In fact, to do so is foolish. This behavior by African-American women is uniquely foolish.

Other women of color, including African women, have never limited their marriage options out of a misguided and unreciprocated sense of loyalty. African-American women are the only women of color who go around publicly saying that they won’t date outside their race. No other group of women on this planet engages in this behavior. Not African women. Not Latina women. Not Asian women. Not Arab women.

African-American women are alone on this planet in foolishly limiting their marriage options.

Any African-American woman who is serious about optimizing her lifestyle to include marriage is going to have to start focusing on quality instead of race and ethnicity.

I’m an African-American woman; must I have standards and screen out certain categories of men to optimize my chances for marriage?

Yes, if you’re serious about optimizing your lifestyle to include a healthy and wholesome marriage. I know that you’ve been bombarded with decades of propaganda encouraging you to lower your standards with Black men. You have to realize by now that dating and having children with ex-convicts, drug addicts, unemployed and unemployable men does not work well for women or children. In fact, dealing with such men can often result in fatalities. Consider Jennifer Hudson’s murdered relatives.

You also have to realize by now that fatherless men are less likely to be effective husbands and fathers. How many examples must you see all around you before you acknowledge this plain truth? Some of you have become experts at pretending that the exceptions are the rule. Some of you pretend not to realize that Pres. Obama is the exception, not the rule, when it comes to fatherless men. For another example, some of you like to pretend that many (if not most) Black male ex-convicts are family men like Malcolm X.

You deny reality when you pretend that ex-convicts and fatherless men are as likely as law-abiding men raised within marriage to be effective husbands and fathers. When you do this, you’re also condemning your children to a substandard, and perhaps even underclass standard of life.

Fear is what’s driving this mass denial of reality. Fear of the unknown—fear of exploring your options in the global village, fear of what your relatives, friends and other Black people in general will say.

Also, I know that many of you are simply afraid to use the universal standards that women throughout history have used to evaluate men as potential husbands. You’re afraid that many African-American men cannot meet universal standards. This is why you feel that you must grade African-American men on a curve.

You’re afraid to use normal human standards for evaluating men (marriage oriented, family oriented, taught by his father how to be an effective protector and provider) because you believe that doing so means being alone. It only works that way if you limit yourself to dating African-American men. This is yet another reason why you must expand your dating pool if you want to maximize your chance of finding a fit, willing, and able husband to protect and provide for you and your children.

What if I can’t afford to move? What if leaving would mean a 50-200% increase in my rent?

How much is your life worth to you? You might not be able to move next week, but if you plan and save you should be able to move at some point. Hopefully, before your luck runs out and you become a victim of violent crime in your current area.

I would also suggest that people do what everybody else can figure out except some African-Americans. Get an entry-level job or do some entrepreneurship, save money, and get an education to help prepare for better employment opportunities (whether self-employment or a better job). This step-by-step process isn’t a mystery. African-Americans have watched waves of various immigrants do this. We’ve watched some of these immigrant groups step over us to do this.

For example, in my hometown I’ve seen how uneducated, non-English-speaking Mexicans have created an industry for themselves by mowing lawns in Black residential areas. Mexican men who started out working alone with a single lawn mower now have landscaping companies with multiple employees. African-American men could have done this, if they had wanted to. Two objects can’t occupy the same space at the same time. If Black men had been occupying this niche, there wouldn’t have been space for Mexican men to perform this function in Black neighborhoods.

Something else that we’ve all seen is how segments of the Black welfare recipient population somehow manage to relocate to states that pay higher public aid benefits. Where there’s a will, there’s usually a way.

Finally, I would remind everyone of our ancestors Benjamin “Pap” Singleton and the Exodusters. Our ancestors weren’t as helpless as many of us have become. If our ancestors could find ways to run for their lives under the circumstances that African-Americans lived under 130 years ago, then we have no legitimate excuses today.

What about White flight? Whites tend to run away from the areas that Blacks enter in large numbers.

Yes, Whites do have a “tipping point” with running from living near large percentages of Blacks. This means that Blacks who want to survive and thrive should not run to places that are already near (or at) the “tipping point” with Black residents.

What about fixing the problems in Black areas instead of running for our lives?

Good luck with that. African-Americans have been repeating that slogan for decades while the conditions have steadily worsened. I don’t believe in suicide-martyrdom missions. Anybody who wants to risk their lives by remaining behind in emerging Rwanda-zones is welcome to do so. Good luck and God bless. Those African-Americans who are serious about surviving and thriving need to evacuate these areas now. Before their luck runs out. Or their children’s luck runs out. Like Blair Holt’s luck ran out. He was his parents’ only child.

Lifestyle optimization will only work for a small number of African-Americans. It’s not a solution for the masses of our people.

Many African-American women are trapped in a hive mentality that says, “I shouldn’t or can’t make any moves toward an abundant life until there’s a solution in place for every single African-American in this country.” There are several life-damaging (and potentially life-threatening) flaws with this notion.

First, there won’t be any solution for the masses of African-Americans. The masses of African-Americans are well on their way to forming a permanent underclass in this country. The lifestyle choices and modern cultural norms underlying permanent underclass status (out of wedlock births, single parenting, and a lack of respect for education) are too entrenched to be reversed.

Second, African-American women are the only ones narrowing their life options out of a misguided sense of racial loyalty. Meanwhile, Black men consistently exercise their right to seek their own bliss.

Did the following (and countless other) Black men narrow their personal lifestyle options out of concern for the Black masses? Amiri Baraka, Charles Barkley, Harry Belafonte, Billy Blanks, Julian Bond, Taye Diggs, Father Divine, Frederick Douglass, Julius Erving (Dr. J), Frantz Fanon, Marvin Gaye, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Gregory Hines, Rick James, James Earl Jones, Quincy Jones, Van Jones, Reginald Lewis, Thurgood Marshall, Major Owens, Sidney Poitier, Adam Clayton Powell, Prince, Richard Pryor, Lou Rawls, Lionel Richie, Dennis Rodman, Seal, Russell Simmons, O.J. Simpson, Wesley Snipes, Clarence Thomas, Melvin Van Peebles, Ben Vereen, Herschel Walker, Walter White, John Edgar Wideman, Billy Dee Williams, Montel Williams.

Did these men stay in any particular place to fix the problems in the Black areas? No. Black men consistently do whatever works best for them, with or without Black women or Black children.

If you want to claim your passport into a better life, you have to leave the hive mentality behind.

Why are you writing about Topic A when Topic B is so much more important?

Topic B might seem more urgent, but I doubt that it’s important to any of us as individuals. By important, I mean things that: (1) will do something for you; (2) things that you can do something about; and (3) things that you will act on. Most African-Americans spend too much attention, time and energy on things that won’t do anything for them, things that are beyond their control, and things they will never act on.

For example, I’m not going to spend much time discussing the ever-increasing atrocities in Black residential Rwanda-zones. I’ve already advised you to save your own life by leaving such places. Also, those Black women who want to survive and thrive must stop looking back at “Sodom.” I’ve stopped looking back at “Sodom.” You can either move on, or you can be engulfed in the implosion that’s happening before your eyes. It’s up to you. Idle chatter about the implosion isn’t going to change anything.

If the topic is about something that won’t do anything to benefit your life or something that’s beyond your control, then it’s trivia. Even important information becomes trivia when all you do is talk about it, instead of taking action. You won’t reach your goals if you focus your attention, time and energy on trivia.

Something else that I’m not going to spend much time dealing with here is strife. The essays in The Sojourner’s Path already discuss the basics of moving on from all sorts of strife (emotional, spiritual, political, and physical) and into serene, abundant life. I have moved on. I have moved on into actively pursuing my wildest dreams, and into a more serene lifestyle. I strongly suggest you do the same. This is a place in support of lifestyle optimization for African-American women. Strife has no place here.

Do I have to be in my 20s? Is it too late for me?

No. Not at all. It’s never too late to seek abundance and optimize our lives. Lifestyle optimization is for anyone who wants to be all they can be, and get all they can (legitimately) get out of life. If you’re prepared to enter a world of expanded options, this book and blog are for you!