I was doing some research on line, and as it always happens, my Adult ADD kicks in and I'm distracted by other shiny things.
This specific instance, I was looking for success stories of celebrities that have come from adversity or hardship, but overcame it to become what they are today. I like to add stories to my motivational sessions with the teens and pre-teens.
Will Smith kept getting in my way. Articles, movie trailers, YouTube videos... and off I went. But this time, I don't think it was a mistake. It may have been just what I was looking for.
The Power of Will-
Success Tips from actor, rapper, entrepreneur Will Smith
Will Smith was born into a middle-class family in Philadelphia. He speaks highly of his family and refers to them regularly as he explains his success in life and his career.
He has enjoyed success in the music, television and film industries and became a millionaire by the time he was 18. He had a bit of a run in with the IRS when he over spent and ended up $2.8 million in debt because of back taxes. He was close to bankruptcy when his debut television show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air put him back on top.
He has since gone on to conquer the big screen starring in major block busters such as Independence Day, Men In Black (trilogy), Hitch, Hancock, Ali, The Pursuit of Happiness and many others.
With four Grammy's, two nominations for Golden Globes, and two nominations for Academy Awards, and a basketball team, this is a man worth listening to. So here is what I came up with after watching hours and hours of videos and reading countless other articles.
1. Set Goals. "If you don't have a goal; if you don't have a purpose; if you don't have a place that you're going; something you want to accomplish; something you want to do, you can really get lost in the murk of the journey."
2. Greatness is something that exists in all of us. "I know who I am, and what I believe and that's all I need to know. It's that simple. From there, you do what you need to do."
3.Give back. Make your life have meaning by giving back to others. "You have a responsibility to make every group you come in contact with, better." "If you are not making someone else's life better, then you are wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better."
4.Believe in yourself. "If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will."
5. Believe in your ideas. "You have to believe that things CAN be different than what they are at this moment."
6. There are no shortcuts to success. 'You have to start with that first brick and you lay it as perfectly as you can. And then the next one and the next one. And eventually, you have built a wall."
7. Put your ideas out into the universe. "If we dream something; if we picture something and we commit ourselves to it, it has a physical thrust towards realization that we can put into the universe. The universe is not a thing that's going to push us around. We are going to demand that the universe become what we want it to be."
8. Don't be realistic. "Being realistic is the most common road to mediocrity." Being realistic is basically setting a cap before you've even gotten started. "It is unrealistic to be able to walk into a room and flip a switch and all the lights come on. Thank goodness Thomas Edison didn't think so!"
9. It doesn't matter where you are today. Always work toward your goals. Your past doesn't matter because you've already lived it. "Where you came from almost didn't matter because we were becoming something greater."
10. Face your fears. Fears lead to doubt and inaction and will prevent you from achieving your goals.. "Don't ever let anyone tell you you can't do something."
11. Focus. "You need to focus. You have to start and focus your energy on each step of the process." "There is no reason to have a Plan B, because it distracts from Plan A."
12. Don't give up. Don't quit. "Greatness lives on the edge of destruction. You are here and people look to you because in the face of destruction, you pounded on your chest and put your arms up and said, 'I'm still standin'! Bring it!'"
13. You need both talent and skill. Talent is something you're born with and skill is the practice of perfecting it. "There's no easy way around it. No matter how talented you are, your talent is going to fail you if you're not skilled. If you don't study, if you don't work really hard and dedicate yourself to being better every single day, you'll never be able to communicate with your artistry the way you want."
14. A little marriage advice. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have been married for over 16 years and in addition to their "Marriage Business Plan" that spells out the direction they want their marriage and family to go, and regularly scheduled family meetings, Will also says the secret to a happy marriage is, "Do what she say."
And there you have it. Fourteen little nuggets of wisdom to take with you and use in your everyday life!
Many people are discouraged on this wonderful holiday of love if they do not have their very own Valentine's Day Sweetheart. What a waste of a perfectly good holiday!! I am all about the romance and the flowers and the being in love too, but should circumstances prevail that I do not have a special someone (or worse, a special someone that doesn't participate!!), it is absolutely no reason to sit at home and be depressed about what I don't have! If you do not have a sweetheart to celebrate this holiday with, then it was not meant to be at this moment. Because you are exactly where you need to be at this moment in your life. Perhaps you were meant to show love to others to keep them from despair? When you love yourself, you are confident and prepared to go out and show love to others. Do you love yourself? Are you aware of your self worth? No? Read on, perhaps we can remedy that!
People sadly buy into the misconception that if you have someone in your life, then you must be worthwhile and of course the opposite if you do NOT have a special someone. I'm here to tell you that it is just not so. No wonder there are so many sad singles on February 14th!! You are perfectly "whole" without someone beside you. Loving yourself is the first-step. The truth is that when you love yourself- only then can you love others and others can truly love you.
When you discover your self- worth and your inner and outer beauty you begin to radiate with self-confidence, and the opinions of the masses just don't apply to you any more!
So on this day that is totally dedicated to love, we will reflect inward so we can share the love we find deep inside of ourselves. Here are five helpful hints to begin the realization process of how wonderful you really are!
"To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance." - Oscar Wilde
1. Don't Be So Hard On Yourself!!
We are our own worst critics and I am equally guilty of this myself.
Making Mistakes. Every single person makes mistakes. It's part of being human. The trick is learning what you can from them wherever you can and don't beat yourself up about it. Yes, take responsibility. Yes, fix what you can. Yes, apologize when necessary but then forgive yourself and move on!
Acknowledge your best effort. We can't always be the best, finish first, or snag every promotion. Sometimes giving our very best doesn't win us the trophy, but that is no reason to hang our head. Give yourself credit for putting in the time and the effort and again, learn ways how you could do better next time. (there's always room for improvement!) Celebrate your accomplishments even though things don't always go as successfully as you would have hoped.
2. Love and Respect The One Looking Back From the Mirror
Nope. You're not perfect. Let's get that out of the way right now. But you're not supposed to be. No one is. Can you imagine the pressure of being perfect everyday? (I love my yoga pants a little too much for that kind of responsibility! lol) So, accept that you have flaws and love yourself anyway! When you look at yourself in the mirror focus on those things that you really like about yourself. Your eyes? The shape of your lips? That wonderful curve in the small of your back? Find something and love on it. Let it bring a smile to those awesome lips!
Are you trying to lose weight? (And who isn't still so close to the New Year! haha) Be sure you are able to measure your successes in some way. Inches, pounds, pant sizes. If you don't chart your progress your just going along without purpose. Acknowledge your achievements and if your methods aren't working, analyze your situation, switch things up and try something new! (That being said, make sure you give yourself ample time for a test period. Remember, things don't work overnight.) Another benefit of loving yourself is that it automatically makes you want to take care of your body. For you. Not for the approval of any one else, but because you like the way you feel and look.
Love the things you can't change. There are just some parts of our body that we can't really do anything about. (Well, I suppose if you have enough money, you could do just about anything. But I've never had to worry about that so...) I personally, hate my feet but I also hated having to cover them up constantly for fear of what other people would say about them. Now, I'm barefoot 90% of the time and couldn't be happier. They're the feet I was given. They serve the purpose they were made for, and I'd be pretty miserable without them. (They're still ugly though...) Fix what you can, if you think you need to- love and accept what you can't.
You are unique. There is only one you. We all have different reasons for being here on this earth, at this time. Our past helps shape us, and the present lets us choose who we want to be in our future.
"My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and talents and I lay them both at His feet." - Mahatma Gandhi
3. Be Honest With Yourself
Know your true self. Your strengths, your weaknesses. There will be times in your life that you might feel the need to compromise who you are to attempt to "fit in" or to make someone "like" you. Trust me. You can only keep up with that facade for a short while. When you supress your true self for any length of time, you do more damage in the long run. What was once artificial feelings of love and acceptance, turn to emptiness and self- doubt. I'm not saying not to try new things or expand your horizon. And on the other end of extremes, I'm not suggesting you be so rigid on your likes and dislikes that you don't bend a little. Bottom line- be who you really are. You don't have to pretend to like football because he does. You don't have to go to the ballet because she loves it. You don't have to sign up for yoga just because the rest of the office takes classes.
The real you will eventually come shining through (or break through the restraints!) anyway - so, let people fall in love with the real you from the very beginning.
"The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them."
4. Nurture Your Tomorrows
Sometimes, even as much as we want it, we don't have someone else to love us and encourage us or lift us when we're down. That's why loving yourself is so important. It's nice to have someone to lean on but when that's not possible in this season of our life, we have to lean on our own strengths. So make sure you're investing in yourself.
Do something that makes you happy every. single. day. Yes, you can. It's not that hard or expensive. A sweet treat? A favorite song? Watch a favorite movie or sitcom? Dine at your favorite restaurant? Read a favorite blog? Experiment with a new eye-shadow? Go ahead. Make a list. Then work through them. It's fun, you'll thank me later. And what a happy boost you'll get!
Invest in your dreams. As you know, I'm a big advocate of chasing down and reaching your dreams. So this post would be remiss if I didn't make mention of it somewhere! Seems to fit right here! Do something, even if its something small, every day or every week to get you closer to your dream. Not sure what your dreams are? Take an afternoon to brainstorm and write them down. (I'm a big advocate of lists too! lol)
Do things, read things, listen to things that inspire you. Surround yourself with positive things. The walls of my office and bedroom are covered with inspirational quotes and pictures of family and friends and of course my goal lists! The world tries so hard to bring us down. There is already so much negativity trying to get your attention. Let that bad stuff and worry roll of you and focus on the positives! Be inspired!!
5. Being Your Best Self
By following the advice in this blog, I believe you'll realize how wonderful you are. And when that happens, you'll be amazed at the changes that come from inside you AND the world around you! Self-confidence is a beautiful thing. (disclaimer: I should mention that although I try to follow my own advice - I do fall short at times as well. There are moments that I am shy and introverted and just don't want to talk to people or be happy and positive all the time and I get discouraged too, when I don't reach my goals or gain extra weight. But it's okay. Because that's a part of who I am and I'm good with that!)
The more you love yourself the less likely you'll be able to tolerate rude behavior from others. You set the standard of how you want to be treated. I promise you, they will follow your lead as long as you believe in yourself.
And when the time comes and you meet someone you're willing to accept into your world to love, by loving yourself already will only enhance the relationship. You will know who you are and who you want to share your time with. You'll be able to devote yourself to loving him/her without fear because you've been on your own once and you can do it again if need be.
And finally, perhaps most importantly, when you reach this level of self- love, you are more willing and open to loving others. Not for what you might get in return, but for the sake of loving, And that, my friends, is a feeling I cannot even put into words. When you figure out that love is the base of all things, the world just seems a little bit brighter, despite what the news reporters might say.
"If you would be loved, love and be lovable." - Benjamin Franklin
I realize that there is a lot of information crammed into a short little blog-post, but take bites of it when you can and come back for seconds when you're ready...
You are all kinds of wonderful. Are you aware of that? Take time to get to know yourself and love will soon follow.
"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." -Lucille Ball
I was never really much of a "goal-oriented" person, and it shows. If you don't have goals, ultimately, someone else chooses your path for you. If you don't have a specific direction you want to go, the world will force your hand. I was a prime example of that.
Fell into this job or that job, going where the wind would take me. This relationship, that one. Blaming everyone else for the bad things that happened in my life. When I figured out that the same things kept happening to me everywhere I went... I realized that I was the common denominator. When you realize that you can be in charge of the rest or your life, its pretty empowering. But I had to make that change. Stop blaming, take responsibility. Don't just float along, choose a direction.
Once I figured out that when you have something to work towards, you have direction. And when you have direction, you can create a "road map". (Now,there's an analogy I can get behind!)
You see your end goal, you're just building in the stops along the way. Smaller goals to work toward your big goal. Your elephant.
You CAN reach your goals. You can eat the elephant! The trick really is breaking it down to smaller bite size pieces. Think about the small things you can do everyday to whittle away the giant oak. Don't let yourself make excuses like keeping your job or the lack of funds stand in your way, because, believe me, there's plenty of reasons NOT to do something. Don't let others get control of your dreams. For every moment you are not working on YOUR goals, you could be achieving someone else's.
It all starts with the decision to make A change. Choose your direction. Set a goal. I believe that we can achieve great things if we put forth the effort and take it "one bite at a time".
"It isn't sufficient just to want- You've got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt