All Articles Tagged "goals"
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.
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.
Welcome to the “Work It!” column, where we take a look at business innovation of every kind.
Being an innovator in your field can be as easy as K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Sis. A singular vision focuses your efforts on becoming the best at what you do, and reduces your chances of being sidetracked or scattered. Ory Okolloh’s rise from blogger activist to policy manager for Africa for Google is a perfect example of the difference having a vision can make on your career.
Watch Vision Work
Okolloh realized early on that her true passion was using technology to ensure African voices were heard.
In 2006, Okolloh co-founded Mzalendo.com (“patriot” in Swahili) to track the Kenyan Parliament. The country’s TV and print media took weeks or months to sort through legal developments in the country. Meanwhile, Okolloh’s blog meticulously tracked the actions of political leaders and kept records of parliamentary bills in real time.
During Kenya’s controversial 2007 presidential election, which was marked by outbreaks of violence, she co-founded another site Ushahidi (“Testimony”). This time she focused on helping citizen journalists report incidents of violence and peace efforts. Before the experts dubbed the process “activist mapping, ” Okolloh’s site leveraged web, mobile, e-mail, SMS, Twitter, and Google Maps to visualize what was happening on the ground.
Ushahidi evolved from a website into a nonprofit tech company developing software platforms for citizen journalist initiatives. The organization was called on to launch humanitarian efforts in the aftermath of earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, a wildfire outbreak in Russia, and snowstorms in Washington DC.
The Perks of Being An Expert
Okolloh’s success in online activism allowed her to move on from blogging to become a spokesperson for citizen journalism, youth activism, and technology in Africa. In a world where non-experts are championed, Okolloh is an anomaly.
The trend of the moment is to know a little something about everything. It’s true; non-experts are able to pull from a variety of sources to come up with creative solutions. However, the old-fashioned approach of focusing on what you’re good at still has its benefits.
Thoroughly understanding the space where you work allows you to recognize needs others wouldn’t. Working where your passion and strengths intersects, ensures that you enjoy what you do, and won’t mind putting in the extra work required to be the best.
“One of the best pieces of advice I received while I was at the university was to get paid to do what you love to do, so that’s my philosophy, and much of the time you find it’s not mutually exclusive and your natural talents is what you end up loving to do. But passion – you spend so much time working, ideally you want to love it.”
- Ory Okolloh, “Africa’s Most Successful Women: Ory Okolloh,” Forbes
A clear vision for your career begins with looking inside. Start thinking about what you love, and how you can use your strengths to pursue it.
C. Cleveland covers professional development topics and entrepreneurial rebels who blaze their own career paths. She explores these stories and more on The Red Read, Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
We’re highlighting Pioneers in the Game every day here on Madame Noire. Click here to meet all of our salutes.
With New Year’s still fresh in our minds, self-improvement is important to everyone. But, it’s easy to be dedicated in January. The true test is honoring those resolutions for 365 days. That’s 52 weeks of discipline! Dropping the cash to lock yourself into a year-long commitment and making good habits a part of your daily routine are two easy ways to preserve that “new you” you told all of social media would debut in 2013. Here are nine ideas, some for free and others with a cost incentive, to keep you on track.
Actually Want To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions For Once? 6 Things You Should Do Before You Make That List
It’s unfortunate that most New Year’s resolutions don’t make it past January. For some of us, losing weight lasts just as long as the trial membership to the gym. Eating healthy doesn’t last as long as the expiration date on the yogurt. And the goal to have better relationships usually goes well until someone says something to us that we don’t like.
Every year people rush to make their list of resolutions in hopes of being a better person in the new year; and while it’s not impossible to keep resolutions, usually they’re broken…unless you plan for success. Yes, even your plan needs to have a plan when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.
So before you make that list of changes for the New Year, here are five things to consider that could help you with your success.
By Brooke Dowd Sacco
At this time last year, I made a very ambitious decision for 2012: I vowed not to change a thing.
Seven months into motherhood, and inspired by an article that suggested readers resist the mad dash to “New Year, New You” themselves, I decided to be content with who I was. Of course, who I am is someone who is always learning, growing, and gaining new perspectives. I just wasn’t going to make any grand statements about being more like this or less like that.
Surprisingly well, actually. Despite not resolving myself to do it, last January I started dropping all of those pesky post-baby pounds that tend to stay around when you’re breastfeeding, tired and hungry all the time. I focused on eating even better, and moving a little more. I did want to shed some weight, but I didn’t put any time limits or weight loss goals in place. I just wanted to feel content with the way I looked come summer. And what do you know? I did. I even wore a bikini on the beach—once (it’s not an easy task when you’re tending to a toddler).
The difference is that I didn’t start from a place of deficit but acceptance. Of letting things just be a little more. This attitude shift helped me to surrender control, to just let things go.
Read more about letting go of New Year’s resolutions on YourTango.com.
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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It seemed like at the beginning of this year, every other person on Facebook was complaining about the implementation of the new “timeline” feature. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this; but when Facebook makes a change, it’s a permanent one. I was one of the few people who opted to convert my page to the timeline function before the final, mandatory switch. What I like the most about the timeline feature is that it highlights key life moments, without having to dig through countless photo albums, status updates and old viral videos.
Just the other day I was on my cousin’s page, looking at her son, my new baby cousin, when I noticed how the major events in her life all happened back to back to back, from 2009 to 2012. Like a lot of women, my cousin, having already achieved relative success in her career, was ready to take the next step in having it all and become a wife and mother.
In 2012, she had her son.
She was married in 2011.
In 2010 she got engaged.
And in 2009, her timeline shared “the secret,” the catalyst to her gaining all of the things she’d wanted since childhood.
This is what she wrote in 2009: I’m officially sick and tired of being single. I’ve had enough “me time”… gotta get back out there.
That same year she met her husband on eHarmony. Being the first person in our family to find love online, we were all curious. “What made you decide to sign up for online dating.” My cousin lives across the country so I didn’t exactly grow up with her, or have the opportunity to spend time with her. But I learned something from her response.
“I just figured that if I wanted to be in a relationship, I needed to be able to say that I had tried everything in my power to be in one.”
I like Facebook’s timeline because it taught me a few valuable lessons. One, if you want something don’t be afraid to say it. There are so many women out here, myself included at times, who are afraid to say that want to be in a relationship for fear that it makes them look desperate. But there’s power in the words we utter. Biblically, some of us have heard that the power of life and death lies in the tongue; so certainly the power to alter our moods, our outlook, our life situations can be found in our words and our positive energy.
But the second lesson wasn’t that my cousin was just out here blowing hot air, she took the initiative to put action behind her assertions. I would assume that she probably never thought she’d end up dating online; but in this instance, it ended up being the gateway to her future husband and father of her child. How many of us have complained about being single but spend every weekend on the couch, watching movies and eating ice cream, or turning our noses up every time someone even hints at the idea of online dating? A lot of times, we let our comfort zones keep us from achieving the things we claim we want. And this doesn’t just apply to relationships; your dreams, career goals and deepest desires are often just a step out of the comfort zone.
What is your timeline going to look like in a couple years from now?
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If you haven’t figured it out by now to make a point I’ll use an extremely embarrassing personal moment to illustrate what I mean, and today is no different.
In college I went above and beyond the Freshman 15 and gained 30 unwanted pounds. An ex-boyfriend helped me to lose 40 pounds and I’m not gonna lie, I was feeling myself for a minute. I was going to the gym twice a day and I would start off every work out with running a few miles on the treadmill. My ultimate goal was to compete in a triathlon, but when I found out that they wouldn’t let me swim wearing a life vest (I’ve nearly drowned a few times, and very fearful of deep water), I set the bar a little lower and started training for a 5k.
But after about a year and a half of all this intense working out I started burning out and took a hiatus from the gym. Originally it was only supposed to be for two weeks, but a year later, I still hadn’t gone back. When I started putting the weight back on (and upset at myself for throwing away all of my “fat” clothes) I decided to go back to the gym and get the weight off as quickly as possible.
I woke up at 5:45am, walked from my dorm to the gym. Put my stuff in a locker, and with a tunnel vision that I didn’t know I had, went up the stairs to the floor that had all of the equipment and went to the treadmill that I spent so much time on. Taking a deep breath and turning on my iPod, I stupidly turned the machine on, set it for 30 minutes and turned it to the last level I was on a year ago and started running. With my first step I felt happy. ’Yes, I’m back at it!’ Second step I felt invigorated: ’I didn’t realize I missed running so much! I feel like I could run for hours right now!’ The third step became torturous: ’Now how long do I have left to do? 29 minutes and 53 seconds?!’
Feeling extremely winded, I closed my eyes and kept on running and tried to imagine myself fitting back in my old jeans, and a bikini that I was too shy to ever buy and with my eyes closed, my foot missed a step, and before I knew it I was catapulted into a row of ellipticals right behind me. No exaggeration, it literally was something like this.
With my eyes still closed I could hear the gasps of shock, surprise and horror coming from the few people who came to the gym at such an early time. I could hear their footsteps as they ran to me to see if I was okay. I still had my eyes closed as they helped me up because I felt too much shame to look in their faces.