All Articles Tagged "dreams"
Leah: Yes. I dreamt about my father dying three months before he died. I told him to go see a doctor. He unfortunately did not listen and he died on Father’s Day fourteen years ago.
Randi: I have correctly had a dream that both my cousins were pregnant and with one, I dreamt of the sex and I was right.
What Happens When It Hurts To Hope For The Best? How A Personal Defense Mechanism Began To Cripple My Faith
There are few emotions that grip my heart like disappointment. There’s just something about having my heart set on something and then realizing that it won’t happen that is so devastating. Sure, no one likes to be disappointed, but when I set my heart on something, I want it with every fiber of my being. I suppose this intense wanting developed during my childhood. I’ve been blessed with really amazing parents. There was almost nothing that I asked them for that they didn’t make an effort to provide me with. “You’re such a good girl. You never give us any problems,” they’d almost say in unison as they handed over whatever I’d previously asked them for. Although I don’t believe that this is the message that they were necessarily seeking to convey, I grew up believing that as long as you’re a good person who follows the rules, good things will come to you. I still find this philosophy to be partially true, but the real world taught me that things don’t always work out this way.
Once my wish list matured and my desires changed from Easy-Bake Ovens and My Size Barbies to an acceptance letter from my dream college and a position at my dream job, things my parents couldn’t necessarily “give me,” I was stung by the harsh reality that life isn’t exactly a fairy tale. Everything that you desire won’t just come to you because you work hard and you’re a good person and some things simply are not meant to be. My tiny world had expanded from the cozy, suburban fortress that my parents had built for me, blocking out many of life’s very real truths, and I was thrust into the real world, quickly learning the life lesson that things don’t always go as planned.
I found some of my first major let downs very difficult to handle. Having never felt disappointment so intensely, I made up my mind that I never wanted to feel it again. So I began conditioning myself to put up this emotional wall. I wouldn’t allow myself to want anything too intensely because in my mind hoping was causing more pain than it was worth. As strange as it may sound, I morphed into one of those people who pray for the best, but expected and prepared for the worst. Although this way of thinking probably spared me plenty of hurt feelings when things didn’t go my way, it severely damaged another important aspect of my life – my faith.
As a Christian, one of the pillars of my beliefs is faith. Over and over we hear scriptures like “Without faith, it’s impossible to please God” and “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” It wasn’t until I was driving home one evening that I realized my hope-killing defense mechanism was also destroying my faith. After much soul searching (and prayer), I learned that it is possible to maintain balance, allow my faith to “grow” and still semi-protect myself from life’s let downs by reminding myself of the following truths:
1. Above all else, trust God. He knows best.
2. Even if it doesn’t make sense now, almost everything happens for a reason.
3. Being told no is not the end of the world.
4. Disappointments are not to be owned or internalized.
Sure life is has its curveballs and let downs, but it’s also filled with amazing moments, wonderful opportunities and spectacular surprises. Today, I can confidently say that I’ve found the courage to hope.
Follow Jazmine Denise on Twitter @jazminedenise.
Ever gaze off into the distance and envision yourself as a bustling business owner, entrepreneur of your own bakery or interior design company? The thing that often stops you from pursuing your dream, whether it’s to publish a book, open a gymnastics center, or launch your own pet grooming service is fear. Fear of failure and not knowing how to dust yourself off and reinvent yourself to make a strong comeback. Banish those negative doubts and thoughts of disbelief that permeate the corners of your mind. Now is the time to go after your true calling. Still having second thoughts? Seek inspiration below. And then I ask you: What are you waiting for, folks?
I can’t get no . . . satisfaction won’t be your theme song because you will. You will be satisfied with the fact that you were willing to take the plunge into uncertainty. You will have to give it your all. Nobody said it would be easy, but there is something about pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps that feels oh so good.
From little girls, most of us fantasized about what we would be doing with our lives once we “got big.” Some of us have always known what we wanted to do, some of us were discouraged from our plans and others of us changed our dreams along the way. We asked our Facebook and Twitter followers this question. See what they had to say.
Shaunty: I always wanted to be a medical doctor as a child. I am just about near finished with medical school. Thank you Lord for fulfillment o my dreams.
Angelia: A Solid Gold Dancer… my dreams changed, just a bit…
Alicia: A teacher…and that’s who I am!
Susanne: A pediatrician; my fear/dislike of blood ended that dream ;o)
Yolanda: Ironically, a teacher but then faith stepped in a I became a professor!
Mizzus: A fashion designer…I became school behavior specialist…close enough. lol.
Carmen: Always wanted to be a singer and I am.
Lynnette: I wanted yo be a wife and mother. Stay at home and take care of my family. That’s what i am today. Three beautiful children and married 20 years. God is good!
Mimi: Singer and still trying to reach that dream!
Jeanne: An actress, a dancer, a performer…didn’t do it thanks to my parents who thought that was stereotypical of black people to always ‘entertain’. I should’ve followed my dreams…
Lifeis: A singer.. I am a IT specialist.. I knew my parents should have sent me to performing arts.
Veronica: I wanted to be a vampire, lol! Then it changed to fashion designer. Now I own my own business and work from home to be with my daughters. Everything worked out.
Jocelyn: A pediatrician…nope, I got my PhD in Cell and Molecular though so I did stay in the science/biomedical research realm.
Ruthe: I wanted to be a writer. And that’s exactly what I do. I am living my passion, as an author and journalist.
Shayla: Wanted to be in the military!!! I did that and I’m a veteran as well!!! And doing very well for myself!!
Kristen: I wanted to become a lawyer. My dream changed drastically after seeing so much nepotism and injustice within my city.
Jessica: All i wanted was to be happy and i am
Sandra: Well, I wanted to be an airplane. (Shame face). I thought they were beautiful and was fascinated with the fact that they could fly. Needless to say I was horribly disappointed. But hey, I’m an accountant now
@TrgdyAnn: I wanted to be a Nun when I was a little girl, yes, my dreams definitely took a detour, LoL
Jacqueline: Actress, dancer, or performer. I’m currently getting a PhD in biomedical science. Life is funny
Lillian: I wanted to be a horse, fortunately I changed my mind.
Kelly: Sad to say I wanted to be a drug dealers Itchbay as a little girl. My dreams changed and I am now a college graduate working in Corporate America making a decent living for myself. Parents should be careful about what they subject their kids to. Children are easily influenced and can sometimes be misdirected….I was!
If you’re a gospel fan, chances are Yolanda Adams’ music has inspired you over the years. Well, this weekend Adams used her music and her story to inspire the 100 high school students at Disney Dreamers Academy this weekend. MadameNoire had the chance to speak to Yolanda about how she started singing professionally, though she never had an interest in doing so. She also talked about how the high school students ended up inspiring her as well.
You know Carla Hall. The wide-eyed chef first captured our attention on Bravo’s “Top Chef” with her delicious-looking food and the catch phrase black folk know all too well, “Hootie Hoo.” This year, Carla spoke at Disney Dreamers Academy event where she hoped to encourage 100 high school students to identify and pursue their dreams. Carla took a bit of an unorthodox route to achieving her dream of being a chef. She spoke to MadameNoire about her journey, why it was important for her to speak the Disney Dreamers this past weekend and what she wants to do next. Check out our interview below.
Singer and former American Idol contestant, Kimberley Locke is passionate about supporting today’s youth. For the past few years, she’s been a part of the Disney Dreamers Academy, a four day long event that encourages and prepares high school students to perfect their crafts and achieve their goals. Locke inspired the high school students with a vocal performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Afterward, MadameNoire got a chance to talk to Locke about her commitment to the program, the woman who supported her dream and the importance of making things happen for yourself.
Why do you continue to be a part of this program, year after year?
I think it’s so important. I think that there need to be more programs like this across the country. I think it’s sad to see our kids growing up the way that it’s happening. There aren’t enough mentors out there. As an entertainer, there’s so many people who have the opportunity to mentor and they chose not to or they don’t know how. But this is such a great program, these kids are here because they want to do something different. They don’t want to do what they see in their neighborhoods every week. They want to get out. They want an outlet. And what this program does, is show them that it is possible. Then they see people like me and people like Chef Jeff and Jonathan Sprinkles telling their story. And when they see that they come from where we come from. Then they become motivated, they become inspired. It’s so important.
Who was the first person you remember supporting or encouraging your dream?
I had a substitute teacher in junior high school and her name was…we called her Rolo…Miss Douglas. But she was like don’t call me Miss Douglas, call me Rolo. So we called her Rolo. For whatever reason she took an interest in me and she called my mom. She came to my house and met my mom and she was like, ‘you know sometimes if I go to the mall or something, Kim can go with me.’ And I learned so much from having her around me. But because she took an interest in me, it made me feel important and it made me feel special. My mom was always working, not that my mom didn’t make me feel special, but my mom was worried about how she was going to provide for me and how she was going to feed me. She really wasn’t trying to make me feel special. She was like ‘Here’s your meal, feel special.” You know what I’m saying? So, Rolo was like that big sister that I didn’t have. She would take me to her house and give me clothes out of her closet. And that went a long way. It meant so much. I’m sure she wasn’t the first, but when I was their age, like junior high school, getting ready to go to high school, she was it for me.”
We all have that uncle who gives the best advice. It just may come in a package that’s a bit too abrasive, too uncouth or too raw for your more prudish family members. And though his delivery may be a little bit rough around the edges, you know at the end of the day, your uncle, no matter how reckless his mouth, cares about you.
Steve Harvey, radio, talk, and game show host and comedian is something like that uncle.
For the past six years, Havey has partnered with Walt Disney World Resort to host Disney’s Dreamers Academy. The program is designed to provide high school students with opportunities to cultivate their dreams through career workshops, inspirational speeches from celebrities and networking events.
This year, 5,000 high school students, from across the country, applied to participate in the weekend-long program. A board, including members Yolanda Adams and Mikki Taylor, helped to select only 100 students.
Yesterday, Taylor, Adams, Harvey, former Dreamers Academy students and other Disney executives spoke to this year’s dreamers about what they can expect from the coming weekend and dropped some gems of wisdom as well.
Both Adams and Harvey echoed each other in their sentiments; yet, while Adams’ delivery was polite, polished and poignant. Harvey’s was rugged.
Adams talked about how the students have so much more to learn as they “grow with grace and wisdom.” Harvey said bluntly and succinctly, these are “your stupid years.”
To be sure that neither the students or parents in attendance took offense, Harvey says that he tells his own children, who range from 30 to 15, the same thing. He said that, though they think they know everything now, when they get older, they’ll look back on their lives and realize what he meant. He said that reflection may come in a spiritual form like, “Jesus, I was stupid.” Or it may come in a “thug moment” like “I’ll be damned…that was stupid.”
Now, you may have noticed that Harvey used Jesus in one sentence and cussed in the next. Well, he addressed that too by saying he’s not these kids’ parent or pastor so we can’t judge him. In fact, Harvey said he’s a new Christian who hasn’t quite abandoned profanity yet. He went on to say that today’s children have heard far worse from their peers, the media and music they consume. He said at least he cusses with a purpose.
While Harvey might be a bit unorthodox in his approach, it is very clear that he has the teens’ best interest at heart and was truly there to impart some wisdom. He told them to make the most of the weekend because each speaker knows something the students don’t.
What the students and the speakers all have in common though is that they have a dream. Harvey made sure to mention the importance of the dream, “Your dream is the major component in your life outside of your relationship with God.” He supported that claim by referencing Proverbs 29 saying, “A man without a dream or vision shall perish.”
He also told students that they needed to be persistent in holding onto their dreams. Harvey said he knew from 9 years old that he wanted to be on television. But it didn’t happen for him until he was 38. He said just because a dream takes a while to come true, he asked, “When is it too late to be successful?”
Harvey had the room wrapped around his finger. And he left the podium to a standing ovation from the 100 high school dreamers, one of them even shouting out, “I love you Steve!” High schoolers can appreciate messages that come from a real place. And if they were paying attention the parents, media and other adults in the room could have learned a little something from Harvey too.
What do you think about Harvey’s approach and his words of wisdom?
Keep checking back on Madame Noire for updates about Disney’s Dreamers Academy, including student and celebrity interviews.
While watching an episode of my addiction, Girls, a change in the story line reminded me of a time in my own life that to this day, I regret.
The character of Hannah, played so effortlessly well by Lena Dunham, is an aspiring author with a ton of ideas for a book, but no direction to figure out where to start. When she reunites with an old writing professor, she’s coaxed into attending a creative writing reading, where she will share a story of her choice to a room full of strangers. Going into the reading, Hannah is very sure and very confident about the topic she wants to discuss: a college boyfriend who was a hoarder and her experience sleeping on a stack of empty Chinese food boxes in the attempt to relate to him. To you and I, I’m sure that sounds crazy as hell, but it could have made for a very interesting story to share–had she gone through with it. However, her boss got to her first. Said boss, the comical character Ray, wasn’t feeling it. She told him about her idea and he told her that it pretty much lacked all depth. Instead, he encouraged her (note: he doesn’t write himself) to write about something real, his recommendations included racial profiling, acid rain or death.
Feeling discouraged, Hannah completely changed her story on the train on the way to the reading, and made up one about an Internet boyfriend who died for shock value (a parody of a story by an old classmate whose recent published book about a real-life boyfriend who killed himself sent Hannah into a quarter-life crisis). No one liked it, and she wound up doubting herself and her capabilities even more. When her former professor asked her why she didn’t stick to her original hilarious story idea, she said she bailed on it because it didn’t have depth…her reasoning clearly influenced by the opinion of her boss at the coffee shop. Taking his advice and doubting herself had wound up making Hannah look like a complete a** in front of a room full of strangers.
As random as that story sounds, I’ve been in a similar situation. A situation where I let other people put doubts about my abilities in my head, enough to make me leave behind a past dream of mine. At the age of 12, while vacationing with family in Nigeria, I was spending a hot day in the house drawing. Doing illustrations and sketches as a teen was my passion, or so I thought it was at that time. But on that same day, while minding my business and letting my surroundings inspire me, the man doing laundry for my father, who I wasn’t too fond of, saw what I was doodling and asked me what it was. When I told him, he said my sketch didn’t look good, and proceeded to draw a picture of me that he lauded as much better than my own. Feeling like an absolute failure, and being that I was only 12 at the time, an impressionable age, I put my pencil and my drawing pad down–and literally never picked it up again.
I can now admit that honestly, drawing wasn’t what I was meant to do for a living. However, at 12, I had years and years ahead of me to get better, to train, to improve and to grow. But because I was young and embarrassed at that moment, I let someone else make me feel like I would never be a good enough artist, and I didn’t even allow myself the opportunity to get better, so I just gave up. This dude, when I think back on it, was washing my dad’s drawls for a living and I gave him the power to judge my work. He was clearly no trained artist his damn self. It’s something that I definitely wish I hadn’t let happen, but at 12, I wasn’t too good at defending myself or my dreams just yet.
As a grown woman I can now see the error in my thinking, and I encourage you, on this day and moving forward to never let people push you away from your dreams because they want to be negative. With every great dream, there will often be a hopeful dream killer looking to stop you dead in your tracks. And every once in a while you might realize that a path you were enthusiastic about is not necessarily the route you want to go in the end, but make that decision on your own. Please don’t let ambition-less people with too much time on their hands and shade to pass out who don’t want to see you succeed talk you out of your destiny. Because when you do, you walk around with a boatload of shouldas, couldas and wouldas to sulk about when you give up on yourself. Don’t give your haters that much power over your life. You have more talent and greatness to offer the world than people give you credit for, and as long as you know this, remember this greatness, and are confident in it, BABY, you can’t be stopped.
As the impending new season of American Idol looms forward we are usually introduced to a barrage of people auditioning who are not good singers. You might be one of those people who only watch the bad auditions because: ”You can’t laugh at good people.” So you watch, you laugh and you actively wonder, “Do these people not hear themselves? Do they really think they sound good right now?!” Then, when they get rejected some people honestly seem surprised; then you feel sorry for them, but only for a short time because the producers are bringing a new lamb to be emotionally slaughtered on national television.
As much as it can be entertaining, to be honest, it sort of sets a small amount of fear in me. I sit back and wonder, what about me? There are so many things that I have planned for my life and I wonder, am I ambitious, or just delusional?
Sometimes, people have these passion visions, which is just tunnel vision but fancier. Some people can pinpoint what they want to do in life and then obsess over it. Now, this can be okay if you’re actively working toward it, strengthening your talent in it, and you’re improving. But it’s a bad thing when you… let’s say want to be an Olympic diver, but you’ve never been beyond the kiddie pool.
I’ve been there a number of times, like my convoluted plan to participate in a triathlon when my fear of drowning won’t let me get past 5 feet deep water. Until I get over this fear, and start back swimming, I can’t participate in the triathlon. I mean, that’s just the truth. Success doesn’t usually come in great leaps and bounds, no matter how ambitious we are.
But first, let’s address a few things. Now, no matter how crazy sounding some of those people on “American Idol” are; when they audition, they should also be applauded for stepping out on a limb and trying it. So many times we stop ourselves from progressing because of fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of hard work, or even fear of success. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know, so allow your ambition to take that extra step toward where you want to go in life.
Next, let’s address the possibility of failure. Anytime you try to follow a passion you’re ultimately going to meet that scary being called failure. It’s a part of the game. But, true success seems to come to people who are persistent. Don’t allow your delusion to make you think that just because one failure came that just putting yourself out there once is enough to help you reach your dreams. Celeb success stories are examples of people who were persistent in following their passions. People who made adjustments where things needed to be fixed and talents needed to be honed.
Finally, let’s discuss adjusting. We as humans are meant to adapt. So let’s say you try to succeed in something, you have that passion vision and you’re going hardcore toward your dream; and then before you know it, the road to that dream is cut off. Take Jillian Michaels for example. She started out a personal trainer and then decided to follow her dream of being a Hollywood agent. She was going good for a few years and then got fired. Now being an agent was something that she felt was a big dream of hers and she spent years pursuing it and making it a career. But even though she hit that roadblock, she went back to personal training and the connections that she made as an agent helped her to get celebrity clients, and opened a door for her to be one of the trainers on “The Biggest Loser.”
A “no” doesn’t have to equate the end of success. Just because you hit a stop with what you were originally pursuing doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful in another arena. Keep your heart open to other avenues that you might be successful in. You want to be a rapper, but your YouTube videos are getting bad comments, maybe you’d be better at music producing? You want to be a model, but you’re not getting booked, maybe your success lies in photography? Success isn’t a one way street, keep your ambitions for a better life, but try to avoid the delusional road blocks.
But hey, what do I know? Look at William Hung…
Kendra Koger is ambitious but trying not to be delusional as well. Discuss the difference with her on her twitter @kkoger.
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