Be like Bradley Cooper

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On Saturday, Bradley Cooper revealed that he auditioned for the legendary Spike Lee and was rejected. When I heard this story I immediately thought about his tenacity, his willingness to never give up, his belief in himself. Sure he probably had good days and bad days, sometimes wanting to give up on his dreams but he didn’t. He says that he was rejected THOUSANDS of times yet he persisted. He continued to audition. He trained, honed his craft, and never gave up.

I attended a Paparrazzi conference yesterday where the keynote speaker was one of the company’s founders Trent Kirby. He encouraged us to fail. That may sound funny but is t that exactly how Bradley Cooper and so many others have achieved their success. He failed. He failed to get that part with Spike Lee but did that deter him. NO! We are going to fail but we must fail forward, get back up and try it again. Be engaged in our business, our dream; fail, learn from that failure and try again.

Be like Bradley Cooper! Remember that great people fail all the time. We may not see all their failures. We may not see any at all, but as a student of history, Trent reminded me yesterday that greatness doesn’t come from always winning. In order to truly be great, there will be times when you fall short of your goals. The key yo greatness is how you respond to your failures. Do you give in and give up? Or, do you pick yourself up, fail forward, learn and try again?


Let’s Go Crazy 😜

The title of this post is the my theme for the year and one of my FAVORITE Prince songs! It always made me happy to hear it, usually followed by dancing around and making some people a little uncomfortable. I was HAPPILY dancing and singing like no one watching or caring.

Being happy is not always easy for everyone. It involves knowing and being true to yourself. I spent most of my life doing what I thought other people expected me to do. I didn’t want to rock the boat. I didn’t want anyone to be upset with me. I wanted to be and have friends.
See, I’m an only child. My parents divorced when I was young. My MoM was great, and I did everything she asked me to do. I always wanted to be the perfect child: independent, smart and caring. In all of that, I forgot to be myself. So after 40-something years of living, I’m being me. It’s not always popular or right or wrong, but it will be me.
So from where does Happy come? It comes from within!

Happy Black History Month

When I opened Google on February 1, 2017, to my delight, Google wished me ‘Happy Black History Month’ highlighting Edmonia Lewis, an African-Native American sculptor born in New York on Independence Day 1844.  On February 1, 2018, Google highlighted Carter G. Woodson, an Black American writer and historian considered the “Father of Black History.”

Go out and learn more about your history.  Lots of times we discuss the great Black Americans who built this country and helped our community begin to grow and thrive.  Now I want you to learn your history.  Who are your parents?  Who are your grandparents?  Where do you come from?  These are my children.  I want them to know where they come, who they are, what great people came in our family before them.

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Our children need to know and learn who the great famous Black women and men in world history.  That is very important.  But just as important is for them to know and learn who the great Black women and men in our family histories are.  Make it a part of our Black History activities.  Talk with your ancestors and learn about your family.  That’s what I plan to do.

This month, I have decided to dedicate time to learning my family history and hope that you may do the same.  Make Black History Month GREAT again!!!

 

Put God First

10695039_10204683380864339_793525817_n-e1518187998456.jpgWednesday, February 8, 2018, I attended my first Paparazzi Regional event called EmpowerMe Pink in Phildelphia, PA.  There was a lot going on in Philly that day: there was a MASSIVE parade for the Eagles who won Super Bowl LII.  People were everywhere.  The city shut down 5 miles of streets and people were required to take public transportation just to get into the city.  There were no cars, trucks or SUVs on the street of Phildelphia that day!  Just hundreds of thousands of people celebrating a long awaited victory for a team that they never gave up on.

The Eagles were not the only champions in town that day.  Thousands of Paparazzi Independent Consultants traveled to Philly by car, bus, train and plane to hear from the champions, like Trent Kirby, Chani and Ryan Reeves,who started our company and share with each other stories of success and hope!  For me, it was AMAZING.  I was reminded of the power of hope, the importance of consistency and the hard work of discipline.  Most of all, the meeting confirmed my goals, my heart’s desire, is waiting for me to attain it.  Nothing and no one is holding me back but me.  That stops now!

Everything I am, all that I have, all that I’ve accomplished, all that my children accomplish is by the Grace of God.  I was reminded of a commencement address that Denzel Washington gave at an HBCU recently.  I went back and listened to it this morning (following one of the tips that Trent taught us to start each day listening to motivational videos).  Now I’m sharing it with you.

Denzel Washington – Put God First

Be blessed and make today GREAT!!

The First Lady on the Power of Education

Re-posted from the White House Blog.

Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited sophomores at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, DC. The First Lady’s remarks continued to expand her focus on issues of youth empowerment and education, in particular working to achieve the President’s “North Star” Goal.

You see, when Barack came into office,” she said, “one of the very first things he did was to set what he calls a North Star goal for America – that by the year 2020, the year that you all will be graduating from college, our country will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”

Click here for an alternate version of the video with an accessible player.

In her remarks, the First Lady spoke directly to young people about committing to their education so that they can create a better future for themselves, their communities, and their country. She also shared some of her personal academic experiences to illustrate her belief that circumstances do not define your future, but rather your attitude.

“My parents didn’t have much money, and they never went to college themselves, but they had an unwavering belief in the power of education, and they always pushed me and my brother to do whatever it took to succeed in school.”

“I knew that the first thing I needed to do was to have the strongest academic record possible… so I worked hard to get the best grades that I possibly could in all my classes. I got involved in leadership opportunities in school, where I developed close relationships with teachers and administrators. I knew I needed to present very solid and thoughtful college applications… so I stayed up late at night working on my college essays and personal statements. I knew my parents would not be able to pay for all of my tuition… so I made sure I applied for financial aid on time. And when I encountered doubters…when people told me that I wasn’t going to cut it… I didn’t let that stop me.”

After the First Lady’s remarks, she joined Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan for a conversation with sophomores, who represent the college class of 2020. BET moderators Jeff Johnson and Keshia Chante facilitated the discussion and encouraged students to discuss their goals and aspirations, challenges and concerns as they contemplate and prepare for higher education. The conversation was a listening session in which the First Lady and Secretary Duncan could hear first-hand the valuable perspective of these sophomores as they contemplate and prepare for higher education.

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The First Lady and Secretary Duncan also shared a few resources to help students navigate the sometimes tricky college application process. They suggested exploring studentaid.gov to learn more about what it takes academically and financially to go to college. Other great resources include the College Scorecard and the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, tools that provide students and families with easy-to-understand information about colleges and institutions of higher education. These tools help students choose schools that are well-suited to meet their needs, priced affordably, and consistent with their educational and career goals.

Tina Tchen is the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady

New Year, New Way to a Better You!

Every new year, people make resolutions.  I have decided that I’m not making resolutions, but commitments.

A resolution is the act of finding a solution to a problem, a way of determining something.

However, a commitment is a promise to do something, a declaration to be loyal to something.

Resolutions look for answers to problems; commitments know the answer and do what is necessary to fix it.  I know what my problems are and how to fix them.  I need to improve my financial outlook and lose weight.  Simple, right?  Not even.

For years, I have sought out short cuts, long-term solutions, new ways of doing things, different ways of doing things, all kinds of stuff.  I’ve bought pills, books, exercise equipment, cut household expenses, stopped paying for personal “luxuries”.  I’ve tried it all.  Recently, I’ve been exposed to a new saying that holds true for many different situations. “Some will, some won’t, some do, some don’t, so what!” None of the things that work or not mean little if I am not COMMITTED to making it happen.

More information will be shared as I go through this journey.  I will share consultants, websites, blogs and other information as we travel on this journey together.

Check out: Healthy Heart Plus for information on the cleansing that I have decided to follow.  The 52-week challenge is all over the internet, but I will repost fellow bloggers article also.

This year, I am COMMITTED to CHANGE – One Day at a Time! – starting with two (2) things – the 52-week Challenge and a 30-day cleanse.  In order to remain accountable to my commitment, I share it with you.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Anderson

After the Navy Yard shooting on Monday, I spent a lot of time thinking, meditating and praying! I thought about how grateful I am for grace, family and friends and life. I meditated on those things that I do well and can do better. I prayed for everyone that experienced loss on Monday whether through death, injury or just plain fear. Then I reflected on what I could do to make a difference, because that’s what makes us different from the animals. We, as humans, have the ability to reason, to evolve, to improve.

No, today is not Mr. Anderson’s birthday, but we did celebrate 50 years in 2013.  Since we couldn’t agree on a 50th birthday party, we agreed to a 50th year celebration.  Well, we’ve been celebrating for 9 months and as I begin this new blog, I am starting anew by doing something that I’ve never done. I’m sharing my daily struggle with life. I won’t demean it and give it a name or title because you can’t put it in a box like elation or depression or hormones or joy or exhaustion. It’s none and all of those things. I struggle regularly to get out of bed, go to work, manage my household, educate my children, be a good steward of our finances…the list goes on.  The point is that I struggle. Despite what people see, despite the person that I emanate, I struggle.  And it’s okay!

KAA_fav1On my husband’s actual birthday, I should have been excited, but I wasn’t.  First, I didn’t feel well. It was his birthday and we couldn’t celebrate because I was sick.  Sucks, right?! In addition, we are polar opposites when it comes to birthday celebrations. He has never had a birthday party and refuses one now at 50 years old!  Not everyone lives to see the BIG 5-0, so I thought that we should celebrate him, his life, what he means to the children and to me.  He just wanted to go to work.

However, I was taught as a child that it is nobody’s business if we can’t agree and might even “fuss” about it. I was taught that some things are personal and not to be shared. It’s a lesson that I learned well.

2013 is the year that I break with tradition and share my struggles. It’s not that I don’t believe that privacy has its place. It absolutely does; but sharing is about healing, and we all need healing. So good or bad, right or wrong, up or down, I share!

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