Thursday, February 24, 2011

Changing My Flock

I heard it said that in 15 seconds you can tell how successful a person will be by asking them two questions:
  • What books do you read?
  • What people do you spend the most time with?
My replies to these questions were very revealing to me. As for the first question, my book shelves are lined with personal development books that have helped me immensely, in every area of my life. As for the second question, I always thought myself to be a good judge of character and considered my closest friends to be decent, kind people, with strong spiritual foundations. Upon further inspection, I discovered that my closest circle of friends were not on a similar path as I.
Here’s what I mean. When I listed my goals and dreams on one side of the paper and listed my friends on the other, there was no connection. No one in my flock of friends had accomplished the things I wanted for myself nor were they on a path headed in that direction. Now, it is not necessary that everyone in your circle have the same aspirations; however, there certainly should be someone in your flock who can provide insight, advice or information on how to get where you want to go.
Being on purpose, serving others and building an empire by combining those two aspirations, has been my path for nearly two decades. There must be someone in my flock that is flying ahead of me who can say, “This way.” Or someone flying next to me in the pack who can say, “We can do this.”
This epiphany led me to end some relationships. Iyanla Vanzant once said, “People come into your life for a reason, season or lifetime.” I ended those relationships that were clearly seasonal. Relationships, in which, what we shared together did not measure up against the barometer of what we could accomplish together. I ended relationships, in which, my instincts told me for some time, that our paths were not in alignment, despite the affections we shared between us.
Recently, I read an excerpt from a book called, The Power of Story: Change your Destiny in Business and in Life. The premise of the book is to examine your life, as if it were a story that you tell to yourself. Upon examination of that story, you may decide to make changes. Upon examination of my story, I decided to make changes in the supporting characters to ensure that my story would unfold according to my vision and purpose.
What is your story? Do the characters in your life support the vision and purpose you have for your life? Are there changes you need to make to the characters or setting? What books do you read? What people do you spend your time with?


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Elevator Speech

Do you have your "Elevator Speech" on the ready, to be delivered at any minute?

An elevator speech is a short, concise statement of who you are, and what you want. If you have a business, your elevator speech would include what your product or service is and what value it has to your customers. You should be able to deliver your speech in the time it takes to ride an elevator (estimated between 30 seconds and two minutes).

Here is my speech, "I am TAHIRA, a storyteller. My mission is to use story to inspire and empower others to think critically, choice wisely, and believe fervently in their ability to succeed."

Luck is defined as opportunity that meets preparation. If the person who could deliver all your dreams, got on an elevator with you and you had that elevator ride to deliver that speech. Could you do it? What would you say?

For tips on writing your Elevator Speech, check out my YouTube Video

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A New Woman

One Saturday afternoon, the television was tuned to a video marathon of R&B tunes from the mid 1980s and early 1990s. Just the backdrop I love, as I put some TLC in my home.

As I swept, mopped and dusted, I crooned out the lyrics to songs from artists, such as Anita Baker, Luther Vandross and Teddy Pendergrass. Memories began to flood my mind. Howard University 1985: Club Philly meeting about South Africa Apartheid; February 1989: at my father’s bedside in his last moments; September 1992: my baby girl is born.

For the most part, these memories bring me smiles. Then, as I looked back in my mind’s eye at the woman I used to be, I had an epiphany: I am not that woman anymore. It is not simply a matter of maturation. It is a fundamental shift in WHO I AM.

Sure, many of the values I had in my twenties remain today: integrity, commitment to justice, and love for family. Now, my hopes and dreams are so different. Once I dreamed of forever and ever love. Now I dream of loving higher and higher versions of myself.

If someone was to knock on my door today, and announce that I could realize all the dreams of the woman I was at 28 years old, my reply would be, “No thank you, that woman does not live here anymore.”

Tell me. What would you say to an offer of realizing your dreams of long ago?