All Articles Tagged "life lessons"

10 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Other Women

August 11th, 2015 - By Liz Lampkin
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Life is a journey filled with twists, turns, triumphs and trials, but nonetheless, it’s a course we all must travel. While we experience many things on this road, whether we want to our not, they all happen for distinct reasons. Those reasons are for us to learn, grow and help someone else who may have gone through or happen to be going through the same things. On my trip through life, I’ve learned so many lessons from people directly and indirectly involved in it. But I must say that the greatest lessons have come about by observing other women, and taking their advice about life, love, career, and faith to heart. I believe these gems will be valuable to some of you.

You’re An Adult But You Ain’t Grown: Things You Learn After High School

April 29th, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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Things You Learn After High School

Image Source: Shutterstock

They say that life begins at the end of your comfort zone, and this is even more true when you graduate from high school.  Whether you go to college, join the armed forces, or get a full time job, there are things that life will teach you that you didn’t have to know in high school.

Here’s a list of these things and if you feel like you have any other information to add, let’s share this wealth of knowledge with the younger generation in the comment section.

Kill It Like Kevin: Business Lessons We Can Learn From Kevin Hart

April 7th, 2015 - By Rich
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As an entrepreneur who’s WERKing toward wealth, I’m completely in awe of Kevin Hart right now! He’s probably the biggest star in Hollywood at the moment, releasing new movies every other month and touring the world in the meantime. One thing for sure, he’s leaving lots of success secrets along the way!

Like most successful entrepreneurs, Kevin had a humble start. He was raised by his mother and his father was in and out of his life and on and off drugs since he was a child. Instead of letting his circumstances break him, he used them to build his career.

So, what can we learn from Kevin Hart and his major success? Here are 6 ways to kill it like Kevin:

Get focused

Success doesn’t happen overnight. With every success story comes a struggle story and Kevin definitely has one of his own. Before landing his breakout role in Soul Plane, Kevin toured tiny comedy clubs under the title “Kevin the Bastard” in hopes of getting his big chance. He admits that he struggled so much in his early days because he was all over the place, trying to be everybody instead of being himself. Once he developed himself and confidently stepped into his career, it finally took off.

The lesson: You’ll never be successful while you’re imitating someone else. Their success is theirs and yours has to be yours. Focus on your own God given gifts and talents, they’re the tools you’ll need to really take off.


Remain Persistent

The critics and our community called Soul Plane one of the worst movies of all time. Although Kevin still gets criticism for his starring role, it was exactly what he needed to break into Hollywood once and for all. Instead of letting the poor reviews get to him, he used it as ammunition to launch his comedic career and never looked back.

The lesson: Your biggest disappointment could very well be your biggest blessing. No matter what obstacles you’re met with along your journey, let persistence push you toward greatness. Never ever ever give up.


Be ok with outgrowing people

Kevin experienced a very public (and slightly messy) divorce with his wife Torrei. Personal opinions aside, we’re human and sometimes we outgrow people and that’s a part of life. The people who are meant to be in your life will remain, the others will be removed.

The lesson: It’s ok to outgrow the people who are not meant to be in your life. As your career and success grow bigger, your circle will undoubtedly grow smaller. That’s life.


Diversity your portfolio

Kevin went from an all black cast on Soul Plane to his most recent movie with Will Farrell. He is surely diversifying his career. He’s toured all around the world and told jokes in countries whose first language isn’t even English. Instead of being satisfied with leading Black Hollywood, he wanted to be one of the hottest men in ALL of Hollywood and he’s done just that.

The lesson: For limitless success, it’s important to open yourself up to diverse opportunities. Don’t put yourself or your business in a box, instead create a brand that will be easily adaptable to all cultures.


Ignore the haters

When Mike Epps came from Kevin, he handled it so well! Instead of responding to the hate with hate, Kevin took the high road and recognized that hate comes with the territory. In fact, he was such the bigger man that Epps ended up looking foolish and had to publicly apologize.

The lesson: When you’re doing something great, haters gonna hate. It’s a part of life and it comes with the territory, so learn to expect it. Instead of fighting fire with fire, use that fire to fuel your future.


Work your ass off

There’s no way Kevin could possibly be so successful without a mean work ethic. Day in and day out, he’s dedicated to his dream and he’s grinding toward his goal. He has yet to become complacent. Instead, he’s seen what he’s capable of and maximized his potential to create positive results!

The lesson: Wealth takes WERK! Anything worth having is worth working for and your dream will always be a dream until you wake up and make it happen!

My Daughter Saw A Homeless Man And Cried

March 2nd, 2015 - By Rich
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Back in the 1980s, New York City had a real homelessness epidemic. Whether it was a Saturday afternoon spent in downtown Brooklyn or a trip into Manhattan for school clothes, I would tear up in my grade school years, tugging at my mother’s hand. “Ma, he said he’s hungry,” I’d state, pleading with my already harried mother as we rushed by. “Maybe we could give him some change, Mommy. Do you have some?” At times, she obliged.

Sometimes though, she either didn’t have the change available or she wrinkled her slim brown face into a frown. “Nadine,” she sighed once in her Jamaican lilt. “Everyone out here in the street doesn’t want money to buy food.” I pushed on, “What then? What do they need the money for then, Ma?”

As I got older, I learned for myself. I was able to differentiate between someone that was hungry from someone whose high was wearing down. I learned quickly as there were times when I would keep my mother’s pace, rushing along 34th Street, never breaking our stride, even as we were cursed for not dropping a few coins into the hands of someone sitting in the crevice of the adjoining buildings.

I started taking the train to school in the ninth grade. It was a long trip from East New York, buried deep in Brooklyn almost to the Brooklyn-Queens line and transferring trains all the way to Coney Island in South Brooklyn. I left the house at 6:30 am daily and ran into quite a few homeless people before making it to first period. Some were drunk and asleep in their urine soaked clothes, others were loud and intimidating, even to my teenage self — who believed I was tough enough to ‘handle whatever.’ I had been told by a number of adults by that point — the Vietnam War had stolen the lives of many folks on the street, although they were still breathing and moving around. Others had a rough life, demons to deal with, addictions… “Show compassion,” they said. “But be careful.”

I had flashes of my youth in my mind. I was the same little girl whose eyes pooled whenever me and my ma walked by someone on the street or in the train station, alone and destitute. Two weeks ago, I saw it again in my oldest daughter, all the way in her hometown, miles and miles away from my own. And felt my heart melt.

Atlanta is like NYC in the 1980s with homelessness. Same exact situation — if not worse. As an early Valentine’s Day gift I decided to treat my girls to an evening of fun and junk food at the circus. We gorged ourselves on popcorn and cotton candy for three hours. We laughed, danced and took selfies. On the way to the car, parked a block away, I told them both to put their hoods on. It was below 30 degrees that night. An older man, wrapped in a blanket, crossed our path. “I’m sorry ladies,” he started. “But would you happen to have any food left over? Anything? I’m hungry out here.” I quickly responded, “I’m so sorry. We don’t have any food at all.” “Aw,” he said. “That’s alright. Y’all have a good night.”

Within moments, I was warming up the car and scolding the older one for being absentminded and dropping her wallet while we were at the circus. “I don’t understand why you have to stuff that little purse full of stuff you don’t need every time we leave the house,” I shook my head. “What if that man that found your wallet wasn’t as honest as was? Hmm?” I looked at her for a response. She wasn’t facing me and I heard a sniffle.

Then I was worried. “What’s the matter?” The younger one looked completely bemused.

“That man…,” she turned, only partially though. I could see her face wet with tears.

“What? The homeless guy?”

Yes,” she dragged it out, near sobs now. “He was hungry Mommy. And it’s cold outside.”

“I know baby,” I said, voice softening. “We didn’t have any food though.”

“I had this little bit of popcorn left though,” she lamented, full-on crying now. “I could’ve given this to him.”

“That’s not food though honey. That wouldn’t have done much, if he was hungry.”

I couldn’t believe it. Already, my kid — my first baby — is at that point of recognizing that everyone doesn’t have the blessings we may view as being simple in life. A full stomach, a warm bed when we’re sleepy. She’s compassionate, willing and somewhat able to feel for someone else’s misfortune. She cried for about 10 or 15 minutes, face straightening, then crumpling up all over again at the thought of the homeless man, I presume. 

“It’s important to do what you can for those less fortunate, when you can babe,” I offered. “I think you’re old enough to volunteer now though, on the weekends. Lend a helping hand. What do you think?”

It was the only thing I could’ve said to get her to stop crying. “I think that’s good idea Mommy.” Then she drifted off for the rest of the ride home, still wearing a worrisome frown in her sleep.

My Love For Batman And What He Can Teach Us About Life

March 2nd, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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My Love For Batman And What He Can Teach Us About Life


When I was a little girl, I was so enamored with anything that had to do with Batman.  I watched any and all shows and movies about him, read the comic books and ate the Batman cereal like it held the answers to all of my questions.

Even now, as I’m in the twilight of my twenties, I’m still very much a fan of anything Bruce Wayne (or Terry McGinnis, for all of my “Batman Beyond” brothers and sisters).  But after a friend and I had a conversation about why he appealed to me more than Superman, I realized how much the DC detective shaped how I see modern life.

Now, I don’t have anything against Jor-El‘s son, but… Batman is just better!  From the villains,  setting, and the mythology, Batman was just superior to me.

But it was more than just those things.  There was a tangible trait to Batman that always made him stand out for me.  I couldn’t relate to someone who was impervious  to all of the normal world’s ills, but only having one major weakness, some piece of crap mineral that very few people had access to.

Batman, on the other hand, was human.  There was an inherent danger to his life, from his parents being murdered right in front of him and him using that pain to create an alter ego that would try its best to prevent other people from feeling that pain.  The possibility for him to be murdered was real each time he put on his costume, and on top of that, he wasn’t doing it for the fame.  Bruce Wayne was the one indulging in glitz and glamour, whereas Batman hid in the shadows, helping the Gotham police, and this is what this article all boils down to…

In today’s world there seems to be more excuses and less culpability, more fame, and less talent, more over sharing and less privacy, and frankly, I’m annoyed by it.  Looking back on it, I feel like that’s the basis of my Batman fascination and why it has persisted throughout the years.

Through the filters and screens, there seems to be a population of people who are trying to prove that they are impervious to the struggles of being just regular human beings.  People are elevating themselves to a position where they are above us mere mortals, and our sad existences, while we struggle in our daily tasks.  In actuality, I feel like those are the things that make us easy to relate to, timeless and gives us strength.

Flaws shouldn’t be things that are ignored or filtered through.  Tragedy shouldn’t be something that is an excuse for poor behavior.  Though those things can feel like they have destroyed our foundation, they should be used as building blocks to become stronger, wiser, and rise above our circumstances.

There is honor in learning from mistakes, instead of constantly perpetuating them, and that’s what always stuck with me about Batman.

Plus, I bet all of the “crusading”/property damage that Superman did was probably raising the taxes of Metropolis anyway.


What Potty Training My Daughter Taught Me About Success

February 27th, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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What Potty Training My Daughter Taught Me About Success

Source: Shutterstock

There’s an adage that says:  “Once a man, twice a child.”  I took that as an illustration that your second “childhood” happens when you’re old in age.  However, I must be going through my Benjamin Button Effect a little prematurely, because there are certain things that my daughter is currently going through that I feel like I can relate to.

My daughter and I are finally rounding the final base of potty training.  Through this, I realized that there was a correlation between the struggle of getting one to use “the pot” to getting a person to a goal that they have in life, and I’m gonna share it with you.

First:  Stop Comparing Your Journey With Others

I am an avid reader of all things “parenting,” so when I read a blog post about a mother who potty trained her 15 month old, I decided that I would do the same thing.  However, it didn’t happen, and I increasingly felt like a failure each time I put my daughter on her potty, nothing happened, and then the moment I pulled her pants up she began to pee.

The truth of the matter is, success (any type of success that you’re going for) is not going to happen at the same time that someone else’s.  It might happen before others, or after others.  The most important thing for you to do is to focus on your own path, instead of feeling discouraged by how everyone else is doing.


Second:  You’re Gonna Have a Lot of False Starts

I remember when my daughter was one, she went a week using the potty consistently, and then… she just stopped.

Success is like that.  There are times you are going to be in your zone, and you’re winning;  or you feel like you’re about to win, and then… something impedes your momentum.  Maybe you get passed over for that raise that you were working so hard for, or you didn’t get the job that you seemed destined to get.

Along with success, failure is going to be inevitable at some point.


Third:  It’s Gonna Be Extremely Messy Sometimes.

In order to get to what you want to be, or where you want to be, you’re going to have to clean up some mess in your life.  It’s going to be hard. It might seem like a foul odor to your soul, and might make you want to vomit.  However, shifting through the B.S. is something that happens.

The most important thing to do is to try to clean up your situation as best as you can, until you get to the point that you no longer need someone else to do it for you.  Gain your independence!  Wipe your own nether regions!


Fourth:  Find Happiness In the Little Successes

One thing that warmed my heart was the excitement every single time my daughter successfully used the pot.  She would begin to beam, clap and congratulate herself for doing a great job.

This led to her being more consistent with it.

This is the same thing for you.  If you don’t acknowledge those tiny successes that come your way when you’re pursing a goal or a dream, then you’ll lose your motivation to continue.  No matter how small the success is, it still means that you’re on the path you should be on.


Finally:  It’ll Come, As Long As You Don’t Give Up

If I could tell you how many times I checked my budget to think:  Forget it!  I’ll just keep on buying diapers!  What?  I can’t afford it?  CRAP!

Success, along with potty training, all comes with consistency.  It’s going to be hard, you’re going to want to quit, and you’re going to doubt yourself.  However, if this is something that you think you’re meant to do, and you’re improving each time you attempt to go forward, then it’ll eventually come.

Don’t let your hard work go down the toilet!

Kendra Koger can think of about 50 potty jokes right now; share yours @kkoger.


“I Grew Up With A Lot of Conflict And Trauma” Beyoncé Shares Life Lessons In New Video “Yours And Mine”

December 12th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Beyoncé Shares Life Lessons In New Video

Source: YouTube

Beyoncé is showing us all types of facets of her personality these days. In lieu of press tours and interviews, she’s sharing more and more of herself through her actual art work. This time though she’s not singing. In celebration of the one year anniversary of her self-titled visual album, in one of her standard video diary confessional type reflections, Beyoncé talks about the lessons she’s learned, giving us a sneak peek into her perspective on the world. Her are some quotes from the 11 min video below.


I sometimes wish I could be anonymous and walk down the street like everyone else. Before I was famous, I was the girl on the hill with the guitar. I was the girl who just wanted a beautiful view of the beach. And now that I’m famous, it’s really really difficult to do really, really simple things. I think it’s the hardest thing to give up. But my mother always taught me to be strong and to never be a victim. Never make excuses. Never expect anyone else to provide for me, things I know I can provide for myself. I have dreams and I feel like I have a power to actually make those dreams actually become a reality.

When you’re famous no one looks at you as a human anymore. You become the property of the public. There’s nothing real about it. You can’t put your finger on who I am. I can’t put my finger on who I am.

Growing up 

I grew up with a lot of conflict and traumas and I’ve been through a lot, just like everyone else. My escape was always music and I’m so lucky that that’s my job.

I was brought up seeing my mother try to please and make everyone comfortable. And always felt like it was my job to fix the problem…people pleaser. But I’m no longer afraid of conflict. And I don’t think conflict is a bad thing cuz I know that when you grow up, when you learn a few things you’re no longer afraid of letting go. You’re no longer afraid of the unknown.

If I hadn’t gone through some of the painful experiences in my life, I would not be me.


But if I accomplished all of these things and had no one to share with, it would be worth nothing. You know, you need something real in order for any of this stuff to matter. You have to have something that is forever, something that’s invisible.


People feel like they lose something when they get married. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s nothing more exciting than having a witness to your life. 

Her body 

I feel like my body is borrowed and this life is very temporary. 

I watched my friend’s body deteriorate. And to watch someone pass on so gracefully put everything into perspective. We do not value ourselves enough. Especially young people don’t appreciate how brilliant our bodies are. I’ve always been very very specific and very choosey…very choosey about what I do with my body and who I want to share that with.


I always consider myself a feminist although I was always afraid of that word because people put so much on it. When honestly it’s very simple, it’s just a person that believes in equality for men and women. Men and women balance each other out and we have to get to a point where we are comfortable with appreciating each other.

I have a lot of empathy for men and the pressures that they go through and the cultures that have been created, especially for African American men. I have the same empathy for women and the pressures we go through. A woman has to provide so many things for their children. I consider myself a humanist. 

And her final thought: 

One thing that’s for sure, the love I have for music, for my husband, for my child is something that will last far beyond my life.

She also speaks about depending on other people, happiness and other life observations in the video below. Take a look below and let us know what you think

Showing And Proving: Teaching Kids Hard Knocks

November 10th, 2014 - By Rich
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So, I am training for the New York Marathon next year.

The reality of the matter is I have been training for the marathon for a few years now, building up my mental as well as my physical. The conditions are now optimal. To start, I am running a half-marathon later this month to start getting into marathon mode. This requires training at increased intensity. This also means taking my daughter along.

Yesterday, she and I embarked on an eight-mile run/bike ride. She, of course, rode the bike while I ran the lengthy route. I knew the length of the run/ride would be difficult for the both of us, as where we live has a reasonable amount of hills, but we set out to do it. And it turned out to be n opportunity to teach her about hard knocks.

Along the way, I definitely got frustrated. She was on the bike and I fully expected that she would actually push my pace forward especially down the hills. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. She kind of plodded along for the first four miles, like we were joy riding. Did I mention it was a wet, messy day on the East Coast? I was trying to finish up as soon as possible!

Unfortunately she still lagged behind. So we stopped and I shared a personal story about my father. My dad was a teacher and he cared deeply for his students. So, I told her about a particular kid that was crying as hard as I was during his funeral. I’ll never forget her or her face, and I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when it comes to that day. I explained to her that that student, a female, really took to my dad because he was fair, firm, funny and always encouraged her to do her very best. I also explained that he didn’t allow for lame excuses from her, nor did he permit disrespect, which was an issue at times with other educators. As a good teacher should, he made her “show and prove” she could achieve her goals.

I converse with my daughter a lot. I think there’s a different approach, because I find she limits herself, halting her own progress. So, we continue with the eight-mile run, which was tough on both of us. Every now and then something would pop up. She would need to put on her gloves. Or she’d need to used the bathroom. And, of course she got tired. When we hit mile number seven, I asked her if she wanted to stop and bail at a neighbor/friend’s house. And she tried to say, “Yes” and I cut her off, letting her know we’d finish this run/ride together – daddy/daughter style! I’d never run that far before and she never biked that far either.

I wanted her to see what she was capable of, made of. I didn’t want to tell her she can do it. I wanted her to savor this victory that she gave herself. Once we hit that eight-mile mark, we reached our goal and planned to ask my friend for a ride home. Then I flipped it and decided to just run it home and she joyously obliged riding her bike that extra mile. Our total trek was nine miles.

Kids these days, they don’t have enough victories. They don’t experience enough failure either, in my opinion. There’s no redemption and every encounter is lukewarm. Telling them that “life is hard,” or that they will see _______ (fill in the blank) one day just doesn’t work anymore. We have to create or offer up situations that give them “real world” experience that will serve them well at a later date. This could be–my daughter and I have had these situations, but not enough. And as she gets older, the responsibilities will increase (to her dismay).

After the run/bike ride, we both felt accomplished. I realized I can do this half marathon. And she crossed the finish line in her own personal race. At the night’s end, we wound up watching “The Amazing Spider-Man” and learning about spiders, lizards and the inner workings of New York’s sewer system.

See, training takes many different forms and life is the ultimate marathon.

10 Lessons We Learned In Junior High…And Then Again Later In Life

October 21st, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Before I was a writer by profession, I was a writer by choice. My mother bought me a diary at seven years old and I still keep one today. Reading my old diaries is fas-cin-a-ting. But the stuff didn’t really start getting juicy (and hilarious and embarrassing) until around middle school. Reading my 7th grade diary today, it was clear that I was learning some very crucial life lessons. Very crucial. And while I thought I’d mastered them in middle school, life has a way of retesting you. Here are the lessons I (and most of us) learned in middle school and learned again in our twenties…or later.

Taleema Talks: Living Through The Valley

August 14th, 2014 - By Rich
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Sometimes in life we go through hardships, difficult times and stresses. All these things could be coming from different angles. It could be work: are you unemployed or struggling to figure out how you’re going to make it day-to-day? What do you do, do you lose hope, do you sit and wallow in despair, and do you feel like you’re at the end of your road? Well you’re not! You have to believe there is a force (God, Allah, Universe, Buddha…) much greater than you and that it has your back. This is what can be referred to as living through the valley.

We have to realize there are lessons we must learn when going through hardships. Is it that you have to learn how to reach out and ask for help? Is it your time and turn to realize that you are not in control, that God has control? Maybe it’s your time to be humbled and to look to something beyond self for guidance and strength. The Universe will never fail you, it gives back what you put into it. This may be your season for growth and knowledge.

Is it your family life? Are you single and looking for love? Are you married but feel alone? Do you have children? There are many stressors of motherhood: being everything thing to these beautiful individuals that you have been chosen to nurture. It comes with challenges–attitudes, different personalities, sibling rivalry–but at the end of the day, when those babies are laying down, you just walk in there room and look at them and think, oh my God this is something beautiful.

I have the pleasure and privilege to help cultivate, shape and mold three different individuals character. God chose me.

Perception is everything. You could look at that as a stressor and as extremely overwhelming, but I look at it as a blessing. Three beautiful young ladies-yes they have their STUFF with them, like I have mine with me–but I get to watch them transform into who they are destined to be and eventually begin their own independent life journey.

So while you’re visiting those valleys in life, you have to always remember the positive. You have to always see a light, it may be a flicker at times, it may be so dim that you squint and think you see it, but it’s there. We have to remember that after every storm, the sun comes out. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain, it’s about learning how to accept and absorb and learn what the universe is trying to teach you. So as you move on in your journey, you have more weapons in your arsenal. You become a little more prepared for the next challenge, because they will come. Challenges are a part of life, and when we stop fighting and resisting and using that energy against its self and we just accept, acknowledge….begin to deal and then start to heal. We get that much closer to being comfortable with what life is all about. Everyone goes through valleys.

I read a book a while back…”The Value in the Valley” by Iyanla Vanzant. That book was my eye opener; it came to me at a time in my life when I was going through the worst break up ever. My family was being torn apart, I was falling apart. I felt like no one could understand where I was or what I was going through-and I picked that book up and read it. The book helped me to see things differently, to put names and labels to what I was going through and feeling. The book helped me to realize I wasn’t alone, and that other people were going through similar life situations and if they could go through it and get through it….I was positive that I too could get through it.

The biggest message I want to convey is that you can get through it! It’s okay to feel the feelings, it’s okay to have your moments, but it’s what you do after that moment that will change your situation. Ms. Iyanla Vanzant was right when she said there is value in the valley…because in the valley is where we learn life’s toughest, strongest lessons, but we have to learn how to be still, to listen and to feel. Don’t fight the valley; it’s a necessary stop in everyone’s journey in life. Know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel–whether it’s bright as the sun or as dim as the farthest star on the darkest night–it’s there!