I was talking to a friend a while ago about why I choose to do a lot of things solo. This video really explains it. Waiting on other people to accept your invite to events or pay down on that trip or concert you really wanted to go to will have you all stuck in the house doing nothing. Start small, but start doing some things solo dolo to get used to doing things by yourself. That way, when people flake on you, you’re more comfortable moving ahead with your plans. I promise it’s worth it.
Today’s #MondayMotivation quote is a reminder that we have a life mission that is greater than just ourselves.
Doing some self-reflection lately, I realize I have been so focused on my own gain. Probably a little too focused. What puts things into perspective? Volunteering with my babies at church during the school year. Our youth program during Bible Study is getting ready to start back up and working with them always reminds me that I have the potential to influence not only them but others around me. I want it to be for the positive.
The problem is I get too wrapped up in myself sometimes to notice what’s going on around me. We all do at times, I’m sure. I need to be more aware of the needs of my family, in my church, and in my community, and then actually try to do something about it. And it doesn’t have to be huge initiatives or anything. Volunteering more. Lending a helping hand here and there. Even striking up a friendly conversation can make someone’s day. This quote reminded me of that.
I’m not knocking success. It’s great to be successful in whatever you do. As long as it’s not in a way that tears others down, I believe we’re meant to. However, it’s also important to make a positive impact while you’re on this earth as well. Keep that in mind!
As I’ve written before, I absolutely love the style of motivational speaker Eric Thomas. Known online more so as ET, he dishes out powerful words of wisdom and has no cut cards! His intense energy coupled with his real gems of inspiration is perfect motivation. (I encourage you to subscribe to his YouTube channel!) When I discovered he had written a book about his own journey and the lessons he learned along the way, I had to read it for myself!
The Secret To Success gives readers insight into how Eric grew up and how he was able to overcome how own mistakes and failures. Those very same mistakes and failures allowed him to grow into a speaker who has inspired millions around the world with his teachings.
As a teen, Eric moved out of his parents’ home. From the book, he no longer wanted to deal with his stepfather, deciding to go his own way. His way ultimately left him homeless and a high school dropout. As he moved from house to house for shelter, ET quickly saw that navigating this life wasn’t as easy as it appeared to be. However, his journey ultimately shaped him into the man he is today.
A major lesson that ET learned was to be around people who challenged him to be better. A close childhood friend, Bill, made him see that he could be more than a high school dropout. ET had way more to offer than that. His girlfriend (and eventual wife) DeDe also pushed him to get his GED and come with her to college. While ET was afraid to start over in a new city, DeDe told him flat out that she was not going to be in a long-distance relationship with someone who didn’t have a plan for his life. Eric quickly got himself together, got that GED, and headed to college to be with the love of his life. It was all because he had the right people in his corner that wouldn’t let him settle for mediocrity.
During his time at college, the motivational speaker helped to start a Christian ministry, Bell Tower Ministries, designed to help students academically and spiritually. It was with that ministry that he began to hone his public speaking skills and creating programs and messages that would truly impact people. He learned quickly that it took a strong work ethic to get ahead, and that you needed to take advantage of opportunities when they first pop up.
Though Eric didn’t finish college with DeDe, they did get married, and he knew that he would have to provide for her. So, while working on his ministry duties, as well as teaching a free GED program, he also got a job at Olive Garden to help pay some bills. I saw that he did what he had to do to grow and get to where he wanted to be, which was to ultimately to help inspire more people through his personal testimony. He also went back to school years later, getting his bachelor’s degree and eventually working his way up to a Ph.D.!
I’m always slow to read books with everything that I have going on. That’s why I always give myself a whole month to get through one. However, this one, I couldn’t put down; I finished it in about a week and a half! This is someone that I listen to and watch regularly, so to be able to learn how he made it this far was great.
It also reminded me that nothing worthwhile in this life comes easy or overnight. You have to be honest with yourself about the effort you’re putting in towards your goals and dreams. You can’t just kind of want it. As ET says, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” Reading this book showed me why that phrase was so important to him and made me turn up the heat on my own goals.
“They can try how to make me feel that I don’t matter at all, but I refuse to falter in what I believe or lose faith in my dreams…”
This song right here is a throwback near and dear to my heart. Before I was an inspirational writer (or a writer period), Mariah Carey’s track, “Can’t Take That Away (Mariah’s Theme),” was really my own theme. So I figured it would make for a perfect Inspirational Jam this week!
Mariah has definitely had her share of critics and naysayers. I mean, you don’t have an almost 30-year career without dealing with any negativity. This song simply says that, despite what other people may think or say about her, she was going to continue to keep her head high and shine as she was meant to. No matter how you may feel about her, that’s a living musical legend!
How many times have we let other people’s opinion sway us from reaching our fullest potential or going after our dreams? I know that I’ve let discouraging words hold me back before, but now? I refuse. We were all meant to shine like diamonds, but diamonds come from serious pressure (i.e., challenges, failures, and, yes, maybe even some haters). Can’t ever let all of that make you crack.
Watch the official music video for “Can’t Take That Away” below…
I know today’s #MondayMotivation quote from author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar to be true for myself.
In the past few years, I’ve accomplished some pretty big goals, and I’m proud. They’ve opened the door for more money and more opportunity, sure. And that’s nice…real nice, I won’t lie! But the lessons I learned along the way are absolutely priceless. The person I was able to become and the strength I’ve developed throughout my wins and losses mean more to me than checks. That’s what will sustain me long-term.
The same goes for you! Money and material things are nice. New opportunities are great. But what lessons have you learned by achieving your goals? What type of person do you think you’ve become? Hopefully, it’s all been for the better. Let me know in the comments!