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Jump Series: Take a dive (Part One)

2014-10-14 13.03.22Take a dive (verb): Taking a dive refers to purposefully losing a competition for personal gain (urban dictionary)

New Years Resolutions are a trip. You set them. You break them. You start over , look up and it’s December all over again. Jump. Jump was not a resolution at all, but one word. One word I would use to set the standard of my year. One word to push myself when I was fearful.

 

 

Jump further.
Jump higher.
Jump faster.
Jump when you’re tired.
Jump when you’re sore.
Whatever you do…don’t stop Jumping.

This is not a factious account of something I witnessed, but my personal account of what it means to jump into the sea of my fears, eyes filled with tears, anticipating the rush of water into my face as if this was my last adventure only to realize that I’m only getting started. Jump.

2014 has been a eye-opening year, I moved with my family to a new state, started a new job, and embraced a new reality with the people I love. Did I foresee this on December 31, 2013 when I boldly declared in January I was going to Jump? No! It’s funny how our plans are not our on plans and until this very day, I’m still in awe. In life there are decisions we have to make but the first decision is not putting limitations on our lives. We have to allow God to take us where his car drives us and be open to his direction. I took a dive. Was I in competition with someone? Not at all. I was in competition with myself. Competing to be the best version of myself. Competing to be an example to my daughters and to show them what sacrifice and faith looks like. With my eyes open wide…I jumped.

Stayed tuned for part two.

There are 65 days left in 2014. What areas in your life are you going to jump in? Leave me a comment!

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Don’t limit your exposure.

exposure

What is a Spark?

 A spark is your passion, something that excites or ignites you. A person’s spark can be a quality, career, or talent. Some people have the ability to find their spark early in life. For example, many singers when asked knew they wanted to be professional singers very early in life, and worked hard to perfect their craft for many years.

 My Spark

 Every Halloween for three years I wanted to be a doctor, when I was in high school I wanted to open a daycare center, as a freshman in college I started out as a Marketing major, and I ended my undergraduate career with a degree in Textiles, Apparel, and Merchandising.

 One day I sat in a development meeting at work listening to a couple of guys discuss the type of work they did and suddenly I felt my spark. I was suddenly ignited with passion to pursue something I hadn’t thought about in years. I went around and around to end up right back to my original passion, which was marketing! I went back to school and received my MBA with a Marketing concentration…. Whew! If it wasn’t for exposure I might have missed it all together or delayed my passion even longer.

 For many of us such as myself our spark has to come through exposure. 

 “It is only when the mind and imagination are enriched from exposure to the world of beauty, that artistic creativity and inspiration truly becomes manifest.”

― Mark Woollacott

 Your Spark 

 To find your spark you have to expose the wire.

What’s your wire?

What would cause your life to spark if you exposed it?

Is there something inside of you in which you have forgotten about that could change your life?

 I realized that most people are underexposed. We tend to get into our circles and we stay right they’re nervous to branch out into the unknown.

I want to challenge you this week.

 The Challenge

 1. Follow 5 new people on Twitter that have interests similar to yours outside of your comfort zone or like 5 new pages on Facebook.

 2. Find one new musical artist outside of your normal genre to listen to.

 3. Read, Read, Read articles, blogs, newspapers, magazines etc.

 4. Sign up to attend a local conference or networking event.

 This is also a perfect time to assist our children in finding their sparks. Expose your child to multiple experiences and opportunities to widen their view.

How will you enhance your exposure and find your spark? If you’ve already found your spark, how did you do it? Leave me a comment below, I want to hear from you.

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The problem with being the perfect parent

photo(1)“Perfect people lead to having perfect kids which make the perfect people perfect parents with a perfect life but in reality it puts plenty of profuse pressure on people.” –LaChaya D. Terry

Who told me I had to be a perfect mother? Sure weren’t my two girls! Did my husband tell me? Nope! Did my mother tell me she was a perfect mother and I should be one too? Nope!

I have come to the realization that I have put unrealistic expectations on my children and myself to be perfect, and it’s pretty stressful. When you start out at perfect what else is there to strive for and how much further up can you go?

1. “You don’t have to be perfect to be “the” perfect parent for your kids.” Parents make mistakes, fly off the handle, lose their patience, forget about a school trip, or lose a favorite toy. Don’t beat yourself up! Start new and fresh, learn from each opportunity, and make the necessary changes.

2. “Perfect can be dangerous.” I want to raise well-rounded children that aren’t afraid to mess up or to fail, but can dust themselves off, get back up, and not be afraid to try again. I’ve witnessed too many adults who never experienced disappointment until adulthood and it rocked them to the core.

3. “Don’t have comparisonitis” Your parenting style might not be the same as your family member, co-worker, or friend. Do what works best for your household and family!

4. “Kids will be kids” They will fight, cry, kick, scream, embarrass you, make you late, sleep in your bed, lose things, forget things, forget to use the potty, make bad decisions, giggle too much in class, like the wrong boy, say they hate you. IT’S ALL RIGHT! Be “their” perfect parent and not “the” perfect parent…love, hug, kiss, and embrace them for who they are, cherish every moment you have. They love you and you love them and it’s all that matters.

Before you know it they will grow up and strive to be perfect people with perfect kids being the perfect parents having the perfect life putting plenty of profuse pressure on them. Don’t pass it on.

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5 ways being a parent taught me to be a leader

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Family Matter’s is one of my favorite sitcoms from the 90s. The main character Steve Urkel filled the show with his unhelpful accidents, irritating snorts, and his famous “Did I do that?” The show also highlighted the Winslow family, who much like the Huxtable’s portrayed positive family values. In one episode, the mother Harriet went on a job interview and the interviewer asked her if she had supervisory experience and her response was yes, I have three children and a husband, I manage a household and it’s expenses, I cook meals, and manage several schedules! I am a leader!

Do you know you are leader? Yes, you…if you are a parent, can run a household, teach life lessons, mediate sibling rivalry, and still have something to smile about! You are a leader!

DISCLAIMER: I am not endorsing these thoughts to be used in an interview setting. These are merely my thoughts on how being a parent taught me to be a leader.

1. Know the who.

If you treat your 8-year-old like a 3-year-old it will blow up in your face like a bad science experiment. Know whom you are dealing with even adults.

2. BYOE (Bring your own energy)

Don’t let a screaming child or a difficult adult steal your energy or your joy for that matter. Bring your positive energy home and to work.

3. Manage the good.

See the good in people; it’s easy to focus on the bad parts. Write down 5 things you notice and admire about your children and your co-workers/employees.

4. Know who’s in charge.

Just as children need to be molded, corrected, and many times reeled back in, so do team members and employees. If you are in a position of leadership, use maturity and wisdom to communicate expectations.

5. Overnight Celebrity.

Embrace the process; don’t be discouraged if progress doesn’t happen overnight. Just as it takes 9 months to have a baby, it takes years to raise a child, and it also takes time to become a great and a respected leader.

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“F” it All!

Have you ever known way too much and knowing too much got in the way of moving forward?

Sometimes knowing all the risks can make you fearful and ultimately hold you hostage from getting “it” done.

When you know too much it can hold you back from moving forward, therefore you make no decisions at all. Knowing too much can rob you of fresh perspective, a new outlook, and sensible thinking.

If you knew everything about planes you might not fly. If I knew everything about food, it would probably be only a few things I would eat. If I knew the outcome of every situation I might box myself in.

so with that said, “F” IT ALL, that’s right I said it! For-get-it-all!

Forget it all.

Forget what you know.

Move on.

Move forward.

Start fresh.

Go back and work on the business plan you researched so much you talked yourself out of it. Give that relationship a second chance; it’s not too late. How many times will we talk ourselves out of our future, by going with what we think we know? Punch fear in the face and “F” it all!

“You can only be afraid of what you think you know.”
― Jiddu Krishnamu

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Losing yourself to find yourself

Can you believe there are 83 days left in this year? This year is flying by! The kids have returned back to school, the weather is changing, and I have an entire list of things to complete before this year is out. This week Taylor lost her 1st tooth, exciting right?! I never knew how emotional I would be over a little tooth! When she was around 3 years old and her older cousins were losing their teeth, I remember her crying because she hadn’t lost her teeth yet. Well the other day when her tooth finally fell out, instead of her being as excited as she was 2 years ago, she was kind of disappointed because she missed her baby tooth. We began to explain to her that in order for her to have a newer, bigger tooth, her old tooth had to come out first. Isn’t life sort of the same way? We have to clear out a lot of old things, ways, and mind sets to make way for something bigger and better.

Check out the definition of Find:
verb (used with object)
1. to come upon by chance; meet with
2. to locate, attain, or obtain by search or effort
3. to locate or recover (something lost or misplaced)

A lot of people are constantly trying to find themselves, their purposes, and as we wrap up the year, I wanted to share my thoughts with you on the subject.Have you ever considered that If you want to find yourself, you might have to lose something first.

1. The first step to finding yourself is to first consult God. Pray, fast, read your bible, and start a relationship. How can you know where you are going if you don’t know who God created you to be and the plan to he has for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). Die to self daily and seek direction, the worst thing you can do is to seek to find yourself without God only to find yourself somewhere you were never meant to be in the first place.
2. Know who you are. On the road to finding yourself, it is sooo important not to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and being influenced by your surroundings, because you will end up chasing dreams you were never meant to chase and wasting time finding someone else other than yourself. Look into your past, things you are interested in, and your personality, all of these play an important role in your future.

3. Find out what missing or what needs to be lost. As stated in the definition in order to find something you have to first acknowledge that it’s missing or in the case of life,something needs to be lost or removed in order to find yourself. Reading or studying could be missing, a lack of focus could be missing, making time could be missing and the list goes on. You may need to lose certain relationships, friendships, or habits that are holding you back.

4. Make room for your new self. As we told Taylor, when your new bigger tooth grows in, you have to be sure to take care of it and not to eat candy because it has to last you a forever. Same way with your new self, now that you have this new outlook or new purpose, be sure to take care of it, do what’s necessary to maintain and not to fall back into old habits or routines.

What did we do before social media?

(Image courtesy of Gal Appelbaum)

What did we do before social media? WE LIVED!!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media! It keeps me connected to YOU, my friends and family. It can be a great to connect or form new business relationships. It can be inspirational, silly, or a down right distraction!

Tweet this–post that–blog about that. Picture for instagram–check in on four square– take a picture of my plate (this food looks great)–That’s cute, Put that on YouTube! That’s a good quote or scripture, let me post it.

At what point do we stop being so busy documenting life and watching the lives of others and just start living it.

The other day my husband and I went to the Mary J. Blige concert (it was awesome by the way), and a girl young lady was sitting in front of us was on her phone 90% of the time on instagram liking pics from the concert that she was attending instead of enjoying the moment.

For some people living has been replaced with social media. We don’t do things anymore for the pure enjoyment of the moment anymore, everything is about sharing. When we get a new car instead of enjoying it and driving it when we leave the dealership, we go home and take pictures to upload to social media or instead of having a real relationship with God we post scriptures and text grams of the word instead of really studying. Life is to be lived and we spend most of it talking, being social, talking about our dreams instead of working on them. Social media was created for being social but not to replace living or for validation. At the end of the day when I leave here I want a legacy to be left, what did I do while I was here, who did I help, what impact did I leave? We only got one life to live so don’t spend watching life go by.

I have definitely been guilty of this, hope this helps you as well.

Get out of my way!

Get out of my way!!!! Sorry…..I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to myself.

“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.”
Denis Waitley

As I get older, I really begin to realize that the only person that can stop me from being successful or completing things that I am working on is……ME. How many great ideas has God given me? How many opportunities have I passed up, because I didn’t speak up? How many opportunities have I missed out on. The answer is A LOT! Fear is a crazy thing, we will pray about stuff and ask God to move and when he gives us the green light, fear steps in and stops us. As the quote states, your decisions cause your rewards and consequences, and I want to stop talking about chasing my dreams and ideas, and actually move to the place of action and eventually completion.

I have to stand up and make the choice to stop playing defense with myself, and allow myself to get to the hoop and score. I have the tools I need, I have the help, the only thing is missing is for me to get out of my own way and sit down and watch God work. I think for many people it is a fear of being successful, all the “what if” questions that we plague ourselves with. For others, it could be complacency, we stop reaching for more and become comfortable right where we are.

Here are a few tips for getting out of your own way:

1. Pray about it. Give everything that you fear to God. Pray that he leads you in the right direction and don’t be afraid to move when he gives it to you.

2. Stop thinking about the “what if’s”. Thinking about them never got anyone that has a successful track record anywhere.

3. Find an accountability partner. Link up with someone that you don’t mind sharing your goals and struggles with and have them hold you accountable.

4. As Nike says, “Just do it”

What is it that is in your way? Whatever it is choose today, to get out of the way.

Major League Moms #2

Last week, in our Black History Month series Major League Moms we looked into the life of Marian Wright Edelman the Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund and the first black women admitted into the Mississippi State Bar. This week our Major League Mom is Cathy Hughes the founder and owner of Radio One, the largest black-owned radio chain in the nation, which has over 70 radio stations and owner of the TV One television network.

Cathy Hughes began working in radio in 1969 for KOWH which lead to a job offer from Howard University where she was a Lecturer and Assistant to the Dean of Communications; eventually she became the manager of Howard University’s Radio Station. In 1979, Cathy and her husband attempted to start their own radio station but was declined by 32 banks, finally a loan was granted and they purchased a small radio station in D.C. (don’t tell me that’s not determination!). She was determined to have a talk-show formatted radio show on her station, but the bank wanted her to host an R&B music station. After much determination, she compromised with the bank to allow her to have a talk-show during the morning hours and played music during the day. After the start of the station, she and her husband divorced leaving her as a single mother to her son. Following some financial hardships with the station and buying her husband’s shares of the station, Cathy was forced to sell her home and to live in the station with her son. As a result of her hard work and determination she experienced success through her talk show platform and is the mogul that we see today as the first women-owned station to rank # 1 in any market and her success through her TV One television network along with her son Alfred.

We can all learn from Ms. Hughes’ tenacity and her willingness to fight to see her dreams manifested. She is truly a “Major League Mom”

Her favorite quote is: “It is not enough for you to do your very best. You must do what is required of the situation.”

Don’t get distracted!

At the end December and the beginning of January everyone is buzzing about their plans to be better in 2012 and around the 3rd week of January many people start to lose momentum and get distracted from the goals they set in the beginning of the year. How do I know? Because I am guilty of it! The pressure is on to do all of these things that I wrote down that I would accomplish this year and guess what! It’s not easy! So here is our wake up call!

Don’t get distracted from the goals you set in the beginning of this month, don’t let your dreams and your list fizzle out by February,  wake them up and let’s get to work.I have realized that in order to be successful this year, you have to make up in your mind that you are going to be successful on purpose and intentionally set out to finish. It is easy to start, but it is hard to finish something. So this week sit down and look at your list again or if you don’t keep a list, start one and think about all that you want to accomplish this year and break those goals down into smaller more attainable goals that are more realistic. This way you won’t feel overwhelmed and end up quitting them before you even get started.

Don’t be distracted by anything or anyone, get focused on the ultimate goal and start checking those items off of your list. Being successful is a choice, it just doesn’t happen on accident or by chance. You have already made up in your mind that you want it, now let’s go get it!!!!!!!

What are some of your goals for 2012? Thoughts? Leave me a comment

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