Posts Tagged ‘personal development’

Viola Davis Won!

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Viola Davis was nominated for an Oscar and she did not win, this year. Last week, before the Oscars, I watched the interview below and realized that even before she knew whether or not she won the Oscar, she had already won. I had the same experience at Mrs World.

There is a point in every woman’s life when she realizes the truth about who she is and from that moment, she is a winner.


Tyra Banks:10 Steps to Becoming the CEO of Your Own Life

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Applyin’ to college? Gettin’ ready for day one on the new job? Wanna start your own company? Whether you’re just gettin’ started, or makin’ your way up the career ladder, the first step to your success is to become CEO of your own life! By that I mean, take control of everything you do – from how you present yourself to who you surround yourself with to how you interact with friends and coworkers.

Before I created my own company, I learned a few tips and tricks to get where I am now – from personal to business to social. Work may be the tippy top of the pyramid, but you gotta fit in your life foundation underneath! Follow my ten steps to finding the greatness in you (no power suit required – but sometimes it helps if you dress the part)!

Step 1: Take a Moment
At the end of each day, take a moment to reflect. What do you need to work on? Were you too shy to speak up in a meeting? Did you let someone else steal your thunder? Write down each of those missed opportunities and refer back to this list to make habit-changing goals! Reflect on that in the morning and you’ll be on your way to making sure you never skip a beat again. Remember, it’s a learning process! Don’t get down on yourself! It may take you a few tries to get it right.

Every single idea I have is written down on one of those businessy-business yellow pads. Modelland started 5 years ago on a scrap piece of paper – and to this day I STILL have it! Nothin’ like the power of a scribbly note that you jotted down as soon as the idea came to you! Who knows, it may come in handy days, months, or years later!

Step 2: Make a First Impression
I’ll admit it. Everyone gets nervous meetin’ someone for the first time, (even me!) – if it’s your first day at school, a board meeting, or meetin’ your boyfriend’s momma. Fight those jitters, ‘cause first impressions are oh-so important on the path to becoming your own CEO! Walk into that room with a smile on your face,—not one of those fakey-fake-“I’m-trying-to-impress-you” smiles, but a real genuine grin.

Follow up with the perfect handshake: face your shake-ee directly and use your right hand. You need to practice that grip— make sure you don’t squeeze till you break it! There’s a balance between overbearing and limp fish. A fierce shake and a flash of those pearly whites … you’re already showin’ part of that CEO strength!

Step 3: Dress to Impress
You are the face of your own company. When going to work or meetings you should look clean and polished. I don’t always like to be dressed up, but one tip I can give is that little touches make all the difference. Throw that blazer over a pencil skirt or pair of pants, brush that hair out of your face, and add just one bit of bling. I like to wear heels to all of my meetings ‘cause the height gives me a little extra oomph, and like I always say, if you’re tall, own those inches! Most importantly, make sure you’re comfortable. You don’t wanna be scrunching, pinching, ouching through the meeting, when your focus has to be on the business task at hand!

Step 4: Make a Plan
Now, how are you going to make your dreams a reality without a plan? No matter if they’re teeny weeny changes or big goals down the road, start small, think big! Set goals and make some serious timelines that you hold yourself to. You should set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Breakdown what you want to accomplish and how long it’s going to take you. Get off track? Regroup and re-goal. Find out where you miss-stepped and restructure that plan from there.

Don’t be scared of the bumps and bruises that come along. That big plan looks big now, but with your mini milestones you’ve planned out and big picture thinking, you’ll reach that end goal with some hard work and serious sweat.

Step 5: Build Relationships
Remember that assistant that greeted you at the door? You never know what she or he will be up to next! The key to each industry is networking. Every single person you meet in life could help you on your path to becoming a CEO.

I’m a firm believer in internships, but the key to acing that role is to remember that no job is above you – whether it’s stacking the printer with paper, makin’ coffee, or takin’ notes in that big business meeting. Make sure to make friends with your fellow interns and colleagues.

Get out there! Go to industry events, do your research, meet those important people! Use your fab and fierce handshake (paired with your smile) and make that first impression.

Step 6: Practice Humility
I’ve noticed that all the super-successful people I’ve met have one thing in common—they are amazingly humble! Be modest about your accomplishments and give credit to the people who have helped you along the way. Most importantly, be able to laugh at yourself! I may have been a supermodel, but I can always put on a silly face for the camera!

Step 7: Get Organized
From my home to my office, I am super organized! Let’s be real—if your stuff is a mess, you‘re gonna feel all over the place. Take a day or two to sort through your things—donate whatever you don’t need and find a place for the things you do. Then, use a label-maker to clearly mark where everything goes.

Step 8: Budget, Baby!
No matter how big or small your bank account is, you need to run your financial life on a budget. Start by spending a month writing down EVERYTHING you spend (down to every latte). Then determine which expenses are necessities (rent, food, etc.) and deduct from your overall income. What remains can be divided into spending money and saving money. Don’t rack up those credit card bills on unnecessary purchases – reachin’ those big goals needs serious planning on all fronts – and money is one of the biggest!

Step 9: Manage Your Time
I keep a schedule each and every day and I carry it with me everywhere I go! Whether it’s a business lunch, a night out with friends or a dentist appointment— all those appointments are right there in my datebook. Bein’ on time and accountable are two of the most important traits a CEO can have. Set up that iPhone calendar, organize your Blackberry, or go old school and buy a new planner every year!

Step 10: Stay in the Know
If you want to be successful in a certain field, you have to stay up to date with all the latest news! I still read all the fashion mags to keep up with the latest trends and news in the fashion biz and love readin’ my tech news on the daily. Set up Google Alerts for all your topics of interest. And, y’all know I love Twitter! I follow all kinds of companies and people so I don’t miss a thing.

So, are you ready to be the CEO of your own life? Keep me posted on how it goes! TYRA

Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker: How to Have a Happy Marriage

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Check out this interview that Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker did with essence.com. I love seeing marriage work and I love it even more when the happy couples share their “secret to success”. Enjoy!

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

The Meaning of Whitney Houston’s Life…and Death

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Last night when I heard about Whitney Houston’s death, the first thing that I experienced was disbelief and then slowly, as I began to process it, I settled into acceptance. Why acceptance? Well, Whitney Houston’s life has come to an end but it did not end until she changed millions of lives. It did not end until she fulfilled her purpose here on earth.

Anyone who does not think that Whitney Houston’s purpose on this earth was tied to singing has not heard her sing. At the height of her singing career, when Whitney Houston sang, some of us were so taken by the beauty and the power in her voice that we would stop breathing. She took our breath away.

I don’t know how Whitney spent the last few moments of her life here on earth, but I hope that even though she may not have lived the “perfect” life, that she recognized that she accomplished something that many die never having accomplished. She did not die with her music still inside of her. Literally.

“Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul. Listen to that inner voice, and don’t get to the end of your life and say, ‘What if my whole life has been wrong?” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

The lesson that I am taking from Whitney Houston’s life and death is, as Dr. Dyer puts it, to listen to my intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs my soul. At the end of my time here on earth, I will not wonder if my whole life was wrong. I won’t wonder because listening to that voice is listening to God’s soft whisper and no one and nothing is more powerful than that.

Rest in peace, Whitney Houston. No matter what anyone says about you, I love you. I admire you. You taught me a lesson. You literally, did not die with your music inside you and now even though your body has left this earth, you will live on through your music.
PEACE

Mindful Mornings: Other People’s Opinions

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

I’ve learned that as you become more and more of a “public figure”, you must be skilled in focusing and also eliminating distractions. You must be able to define yourself for yourself. If you do not do these two things, you’ll be pulled in so many directions that you won’t even know who you are anymore.

People will always have opinions and most of them are irrelevant but the most important opinion is the one that you have of yourself. What is your truth? And are you living it?

Why you should love a “hoe”, b*tch or “chicken head”

Monday, February 6th, 2012

When a woman has been raised in a home and, maybe, also a society that has minimized her, marginalized her and also disrespected and disregarded her, she may not realize that it has been repeatedly suggested to her that she is somehow inferior and the expectations that have been set for her life fall far below the potential that exists in her. She may not realize that she has bought into a lie.

You may know these women. They buy into the lie for different reasons. Among those reasons are religious beliefs that have been taken out of context or completely distorted. Some buy into the lie because their limited environment has only shown them one “reality” and in that reality all they see is evidence of their lack of power and their lack of significance. Some others have been brutally beaten (verbally, mentally and/or physically) and they have endured that treatment for so long that it is next to impossible to imagine that they could be valued, loved and respected. For some, what they have endured is more subtle and less recognizable; they are just overlooked or talked over, talked down to or ignored.

What these women do not see is the truth of WHO they are and who they were Created to be. You might ask: Who are they?

They are children of GOD.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

The next time you see one of these women, don’t laugh at her ignorance or “backward thinking” or call her a “hoe”, b*tch or chicken-head. Instead, look beyond WHAT she has become and instead see her for WHO she is. If you see her for WHO she is, how can you not love her?

Sex before Marriage

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I just read a post that really got me thinking…

“You appealed to his lower nature. You had sex with him and didn’t make marriage a requirement. You continue to have sex with him and still don’t make marriage a requirement. You decide that you’re going to have his baby, and again you still aren’t married because, again, you didn’t make it a requirement, he leaves you. But everything is “ALL HIS FAULT!”

The words above are a simple question that a lot of black woman who call themselves “baby mama” need to ask themselves. I completely understand and sympathize with the fact that “it takes two to tango” and that some men need a little nudge (like a court order) to take responsibility and contribute financially for their children’s needs. Anyone who pays attention to most of the things that I say/write, knows that I believe in personal responsibility. Before you ask or require other people to take responsibility for anything, you first have to ask yourself if you are taking responsibility

Read the post here and let me know what you think. [email protected]

Again, my friends, can I please not get an influx of angry e-mails about how judgmental I’m being! 🙂 Some truths need to be faced and we need to have dialogue so that we can begin to move into a better way of thinking and behaving. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge-right?

From Gratitude to Praise

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

By guest blogger: Unami Mulale
I spent the majority of my 3 years of Pediatric Critical Care training angry and bitter. I did not understand. I never understood why children had to suffer and sometimes die, especially in some of the most heart wrenching situations. If I had not felt that this was my calling, I would have quit long ago; in my head, I quit several times. But I could not walk away from what I feel is where God would have me be. I have always hated suffering, and have always let God know so. We have had many a conversation about this, God and I. I never thought I would be immersed in the field as part of my daily life, hoping to alleviate pain as much as possible. I pray daily to be the Master’s great tool, that I may be used to remove as much pain as possible. I used to think of myself as a healer, but then I realized that is not what Jesus had placed me here for. I am here to care, no matter the outcome, I am here to care for those whose paths will cross with mine. If the outcome is healing, God be praised all the more! But if the outcome is not healing, those that remain on earth need to know that someone had cared. I care with my whole heart. I am not the keeper of days, only He knows our appointed times. In the last of those days for my patients, I will be there to show concern, and bring comfort. Should God add to their days, I will be grateful in knowing that I had somehow impacted that situation.

At the start of last year (2010), I accepted that I had changed. The constant anger from the assault that combating critical disease was to my soul had changed me. I would like to say that I was an unbendable Christian and I was strong, but I would be lying. I was hurt and stained from all the tears of 3 years of intervening as children tried to die. And so a few days after the year began, I decided to choose gratitude instead of anger. I was grateful that God would award me the undeserved honor and privilege of taking care of children, often changing the course of their lives from death to life. I was grateful that I actually had the ability and opportunity to study at the top most level of Pediatrics. I was grateful that I had a dream, and life had carved a path for me to walk towards that dream of making children better.

Little did I know that I would be in the presence of my own mother as she died. We were in an ICU in Botswana that lacked the bare essentials of what I considered to be standard of care. It did not matter that I was trained in Critical Care, this was my mother laying here. As I listened to the joy of heaven as they welcomed her, I felt deeply inadequate. Sad. Alone. Cheated. Broken. But once again, it was time to choose. Like I had done when the year started, I chose gratitude. Grateful that I was at her side. Grateful that she is in a better place. Grateful for the exemplary mother she was. Grateful for the love that she bestowed upon us. Grateful that she had invested so much in me, and my siblings. Grateful that she had shared my life, even coming to New York in the summer. Grateful for all the lives she had touched and changed. Grateful. I chose gratitude.

When I think about her, I choose gratitude over sorrow. It is deliberate and at times near impossible, but I choose gratitude. At the start of this year, I will still choose gratitude, and I will also choose to praise God. I will praise Him for deeming me worthy of my mother for almost 34 years. I will praise Him for allowing me to wake up in the morning and live out her legacy. I will praise Him for the hands that He has given me to do His work. I will praise Him for the heart that He has placed in me to beat for others, to see their lives made whole. I will praise Him.

Happy New Year all! It is going to be sensational, exceptional and full of wonder!

Open letter to Mrs World Pageant Owners

Monday, December 19th, 2011

I have entered a few pageants in my life and none has had as much of a positive impact on me as Mrs World 2011. Unfortunately, at the same time, none has had as negative an impact as well! Today I wrote a letter to the pageant owners and it is my desire that, going forward, no African women or black women wil endure what we had to endure. Read the letter here

HOW I WON AT MRS WORLD 2011

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

1. I became a pioneer for my country as the first ever Mrs Botswana
In the history of Botswana, no married woman has ever taken the courageous and bold step to enter the Mrs World pageant and represent the beautiful married women of Botswana. I am proud and honored to have opened this door and it is my hope and desire that we will continue in this new and unique way of recognizing the hard work, accomplishments and beauty of the married women of Botswana.

2. I achieved a lifelong dream of representing my country at an international pageant
In 1997, I entered the Miss Botswana (World) pageant and was honored to attain second place and be crowned the first princess of Miss Botswana 1997. Mpule Kwelagobe won that year and a couple of years later she was the first ever contestant from Botswana to enter the Miss Universe pageant. Mpule went on to make history as the first ever Black African woman to win the Miss Universe pageant. Mpule’s win brought all us Batswana a great deal of joy and pride and I believe she represented us exceptionally but my desire to compete at an international pageant never left. By competing in the Mrs World 2011 pageant, I finally fulfilled one of my big dreams.

3. I raised awareness and brought attention to issues that I’m passionate about.
Those that know me know that I recently designed, piloted and taught a college level course designed for young black women and other women of color. I believe that personal development is the bridge that takes us from where we are to where we were born to be and my passion and purpose is to instill this one principle in as many young women as I can. Mentorship and good roles models affect us in such positive ways and the more women of substance that stand up and lead by example, the more of a positive impact we can make in our families, our communities and society as a whole.

4. I reclaimed my health, beauty and vigor.
When I decided to enter the Mrs World pageant, I decided to be the best that I can be. I walked in looking my best and feeling my best. It was about being the most beautiful, healthy, fit and positive ME that I could be and going after this goal injected some passion back into my life and I channeled it into doing better with my eating and exercise habits!

5. I made lifetime friends.
I was loved, affirmed, validated, encouraged and understood and it did not just stop there, I met women who I instantly loved and appreciated and I poured into them in the same way that they poured into me. I laughed and cried and connected with such phenomenal women and my life is forever changed by that beautiful experience.

6. I brought “Noma” to the Mrs World pageant
One of the things that I heard most consistently before and during the pageant was “just be yourself” and that is exactly what I did. Some people loved it, some liked it and some…not so much :-). The victory here is that I accept myself as I am and that opens the door for others to do the same and that is one of the most powerful lessons that I have learned in my adult life.

7. I took my very first “solo” and much needed vacation ever since I got married and subsequently had children.
Since I got married and had children, I have never been away from all of them and my job all at the same time. What this experience has done for me is that it gave me time and space to reflect on my life and my life choices. It gave me a new sense of appreciation for my wonderful husband and my beautiful children.

8. I carried myself with grace and dignity.
The low moment in this pageant experience was the announcement of the top 14 the judges selected and sadly, there was not a single African woman or black woman or a woman of African heritage or descent amongst them-not a single one. At a point during the final night, there was talk of the all black women boycotting the pageant and just walking off. I was instrumental in negotiating with those that felt strongly enough to do it and asked them to maintain their grace and dignity even in the moment of such blatant disrespect and disregard. We all walked back on the stage and supported the winner, Mrs America; a beautiful woman with such a big heart that I felt the crown was in its rightful place.

9. I realized just how much my friends and family love, admire and support me.
During the week leading up to the pageant, I got so many messages of love, encouragement and motivation from friends and family from all around the world and I am forever grateful for that. I am so humbled by the amount of faith that “my people” had in [God] and what he could do through me.

10. I failed to get the crown but every failure takes me one step closer to my ultimate success.
At the end of the day, I did not walk home with the crown and that is okay because as I said, every failure (even though this was ultimately not a failure) leads to my ultimate success and my success is that of my husband, Ezra Moses, my children, my parents and family, my community and my country, the diamond of Africa-Botswana.

Ke a leboga bagaetsho. (translation: Thank you my brethren /my countrymen)