10 Effective Ways to Start Your Business with Zero Dollars

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live civil westonAre you that person who has endless lists of ideas and business plans,but you’re afraid to make your dreams a reality because of lack of money? If you are, you’re not alone.

In our world today, it is implied that money is “everything,” but new author Natasha Weston is here to prove the popular belief wrong. In a 10-step plan, Weston shares her tips on how she was able to successfully make her way into the fashion industry, make connections and ultimately  launch various businesses with zero dollars.

The young author, new mother and business woman shared: “I am excited to share with you my new book, “10 Effective Ways to Start Your Business with 0 Dollars: Learn the Essential Practices & Habits I Used to Start My Business While Working a Full-Time Job!”  This book is my very first and it will be released to the public on June 20, 2014.”

“Within the contents of this book, I pull together some of my most valuable experiences, methods, practices and habits on how I started my business while working a full-time job.”

Weston’s 10 Effective Ways is an inspiration, an eye opener, and it gives the young women motivation to take control of their dreams. You can get your copy at Amazon.com today.

 

How an HBCU Can Prepare You For A Bright Future

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Yesterday on The Root, journalist Mia Hall wrote about her experience about being at a historically black college to discussing how it prepped her for advanced degree study and her professional life. Expertly she delivers important facts on why HBCUs still remain relevant when it comes to higher education for today’s high achievers.

“Before arriving there, I’d excelled in school, but my high school coursework didn’t prepare me for the rigorous academic demands of my Hampton professors,” she explained. “This made my first semester a time of adjustment, which brought with it a realization that it would take more sacrifice, grit and determination than I’d planned in order to thrive. But the wake-up call wasn’t demoralizing because Hampton provided mentors and academic support that enabled me to become a better writer, speaker and thinker.”

Today she is a journalist and community agents for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

Read the full piece here.

Ladies where’s your boss at: Rules for Women Bosses

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Academic and humorist, Regina “Gina” Barreca is back with another must read article.  In her latest article in, The Courant, the  English literature and feminist theorist, gives ” Rules for Women Bosses.” Ladies, if you are a boss chick or have ambitions to be a boss chick, this article is a must read!

Barreca lists the following as “Rules for Women Bosses:”

1. Take a deep breath, doll, because you’ll have to embody enthusiasm, authority and confidence all the time. Being a boss is playing a role and, if you’re the principal player, a great deal rests on your ability to stay in character. Part of what you forfeit when you assume the position of leader is your right to display weakness or expect sympathy. No matter how exhausted, frustrated or anxious might feel, you can’t show it. Why? Because nobody feels safe trusting a weak leader. Remember, too, that nobody ever feels sorry for the boss (and then only if there’s a really good dental plan).

2. Robert Frost’s dictum that good fences make good neighbors translates to “clear boundaries make good colleagues.” Emotional space makes workplace relationships more efficient and, paradoxically, more congenial. You need to compartmentalize the personal and the professional, keeping a consistent and fair policy in place. Unless you expect your siblings to file W-9 forms, the people you work with are not like family.

3. Women too often feel we’re being unfair when we’re being fair. For example, if employees can’t use cellphones during work hours, then that rule applies to everyone: those who have boyfriends they don’t trust, girlfriends who don’t trust them, kids who will never know what the word trust means and ones doing brilliantly at “Pet Rescue Saga.” You’re not being unfair to an employee who wants to be made an exception if you say, “no.” You are being fair. Learn to shrug off guilt you don’t deserve.

4. Careless habits are as contagious as the flu and spread just about as fast. Guard against the transmission of carelessness, laziness and inefficiency by catching them early and making sure whoever has them cleans up their act thoroughly. Make no mistake: over time, these small and almost invisible toxins can poison the atmosphere. Make sure there is, in equal amounts, enough light (attention), air (clarity) and running water (communication) to keep everyone healthy.

5. You shouldn’t seek to be loved by those who work for you. You should aim for their respect and admiration.

6. Remember that while it’s impossible to be everybody’s friend, it is possible to be everybody’s best boss every day. Make that your ambition.

20 Good Habits You Need To Start In Your 20s

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Our 20′s are the most pivotal points in our lives. This is the time in which we become responsible for how our future will unfold, due to the important actions and decisions that make up this exciting yet confusing stage.

 

This is when we mold the direction our lives will take, and the way we will handle all of the obstacles that stand in front of us completing the journey we have chosen to embark on.

 

The 20s brings upon a lot of questions, doubtful moments and uncertainty. It is maybe one of the hardest points in a person’s life because that is the first time we truly face ourselves in the mirror seriously and ask what the hell are we going to do with our life and how are we going to do it.

 

This is a scary concept for many of us, as throughout the first 22 years of our lives we are used to being in school and having our parents’ help us get anything we wanted or truly needed.  It is truly the first time we are considered independent adults and the decisions we make during this period will rest with us forever.

 

As we love helping our fellow Generation Y-ers we have put together the 20 best habits that we feel everyone should have in their 20s to make the most out of this stage in life by crafting a valuable and fruitful future.

 

 

20. Focus on the activities and people that make you happy.-

 

This isn’t high school anymore, where we have to please people just to be considered cool and fit in. This is the real world and in the real world all you have to worry about is yourself and not what others think about you. Do what you feel will help you attain the life you wish to have, be around the people you truly enjoy hanging out with and engage in what makes you feel most fulfilled.

 

19. Trust your instincts on new opportunities.-

 

Opportunities are never given, they are taken. Stop waiting for handouts in life and go out there and get what you want. Trust your instincts because if it doesn’t feel right inside it wont feel right for you as time goes by. Trust that little voice in your head and do what you feel is most beneficial for your well being and satisfaction.

 

18. Build the courage to face your fears.-

 

If you haven’t already noticed, the real world is filled with a lot of intimidating phases you must participate in to grow up. Don’t ever hesitate to give yourself a chance to be everything you are capable of being. What brings out the best version of yourself is the act of standing up to what scares you most.

 

The only person telling you to be afraid of these things is you. Engage in discomforting activities that you know will make you a stronger, more courageous person afterwards because they will never fail to do so.

 

 

17. Focus on the resources you do have access to.-

 

We have witnessed so many people sit there and complain that they can’t get where they want to be in life because they don’t have the necessary resources to assume control. It’s time to stop being a cry baby about this sort of thing. You wont be given any handouts so be ready to work hard.

 

Life is about making something out of nothing what makes you so special that you would be awarded a head start? Focus on the opportunities you DO have, and exploit the resources you DO have access to.

 

16. Be less busy, and more productive.-

 

Being busy is a good thing but managing your time is more important. You are not superman and you can’t do 100 things at once. Many people make the mistake of spreading themselves too thin and thus losing control of the opportunities they can no longer take full advantage of.

 

It’s easy to be busy but you need to be productive and effective as well. Focus on the tasks that your life will benefit most from. Get the necessary things done, the things in which you will be most at peace with yourself upon completion.

 

15. Make your goals a priority. –

 

If you make a goal, you better stick by it because there wont be anyone to push you to do so. You will eventually  learn that the direction your life takes is based on how you act on accomplishing your goals. Stay focused on your ambitions. Tomorrow may never come, so start today instead.

 

 

14. Accept your humanness. –

 

Own up to your mistakes, admit you are only human and understand that your 20s are a learning curve. You will screw up, it will hurt, but it is the only way you will learn how to take the next step most effectively. Take in all the answers to the tests you receive after approaching something the wrong way or simply being careless.

 

13. Seek less approval from others.-

 

You are going to learn a cold hard lesson that many people that you think care about you might actually be haters and users. Stop seeking approval from people and stop worrying about what other people think about you. Be proud of who you are and don’t let the opinions of the those who wish they had your courage bring you down. Remember, a lion does not worry himself over the opinions of the sheep.

 

12. Ignore society’s comparisons.-

 

It will never help you to compare yourself to other people and believe that you will never amount to their success. Stop renting an identity, be you and live your life without comparing it to someone else’s. You are far more nuanced than anyone else’s narrative you try to fit yourself into, and more complex than society’s story of what ‘should’ be happening in your life.

 

 

11. Believe in your ability to succeed.-

 

Fate and self belief are the two biggest factors of succeeding in this world. Unless you believe that what you are after is in fact possible to attain, you won’t get anywhere. You need to always maintain a belief in your own ability to succeed, doubting yourself will only distract you from the steps you should be taking to get closer to your dream.

 

10. Manage your money before it starts to manage you.-

 

We live in one of the greatest recessions known to mankind, there are not many jobs out there and the entire world is about to simultaneously file for bankruptcy. Spend your money wisely and don’t spend above your means. The last thing you want to do is be living pay check to pay with so much uncertainty as to whether or not you will survive on your own.

 

9. Let the wrong people go.-

 

You are going to come across many different types of people in life, so you don’t have to be everyone’s friend. You will come to realize who your true friends are, supporting you through thick and thin. You will also, however, encounter a fair amount of poisonous individuals that will try to hold you back from getting what you want for their own benefit.

 

Cut them off and don’t let them intrude and ruin your life. You can’t make everyone happy in this world, so don’t bother trying. Don’t be so quick to lend out your trust.

 

 

8. Appreciate your true friends, and return the favor.-

 

You true friends are the ones that you can call during any time of the day and will be there to help you no matter what. Return the favor of being a good friend and don’t ever forget where you came from. Friendship is what will keep you humble throughout your journey, and as long as you continue to show appreciation for the love you are given, it will only come back in larger doses.

 

7. Understand right from wrong-

 

This isn’t college anymore, it is time to grow up and take responsibility for your actions. There is a right time and place for everything and by now you should know what will help you in the long run and what is simply a waste of time. It’s okay to have fun, but not during a time when you know you could be working harder to accomplish your goals.

 

6. Choose happiness. –

 

Happiness is a choice that varies in substance for many people, so you need to create your own kind of happiness that you find most fulfilling or stimulating. There is nothing you need in order to be happy other than the choice to do so. Let go of the worries you have for what may or may not come your way. Focus instead on the good things that you can give, create, inspire and choose to experience, right here, right now.

 

 

5. Learn to cope with anger effectively.-

 

Your 20s are an emotional rollercoaster of confusion and enlightenment. You will feel a significant amount of emotional stress and you need to understand how to control it so it only helps you dominate your 20′s with efficiency and pride.

 

When you begin to let your emotions start controlling you and your decisions is when you are destined to fall off a cliff. Unless they force you to work harder or more passionately, ignore the bad emotions and let the good one’s carry you to new intellectual heights.

 

4. Make your own destiny –

 

If you want to be successful then you need to create the life that is most deserving of such pleasures and reward. Don’t just sit there and talk the talk. You need to learn how to walk the walk and stick by your word. You have the power to make your own destiny and that starts with the decisions you make and the actions you take to become worthy of success.

 

3. Create priorities.-

 

Priorities will help you understand what is important in creating the life you wish to have and what is only stopping you from being the best version of yourself imaginable. Life is going to offer many distractions that will attempt to throw you off course from your goal.

 

It is ultimately up to you to stay disciplined at all times and understand how to spend your time and energy in accordance to your own well being. Don’t waste your time on social media or being a club rat. These things won’t make you a more intelligent person with a better grasp on how to handle life’s important choices.

 

 

2. Stay away from a routine based life.-

 

Don’t turn into a pedestrian by settling for the first thing that life gives you. Security and stability may seem less harmful at first but they prevent you from experiencing the greatest adventures and rewards this world could possibly offer. You will be presented with a lifestyle that appears comfortable, doing the same things each day with little or no excitement or mental growth involved.

 

This is why you need to remember that to take advantage of the wondrous opportunities life has in store for you, you must get comfortable with the uncomfortable and choose the road that is most interesting, regardless of how complicated or unnerving it may be.

 

1. Always keep in mind that life is somewhat unpredictable.-

 

Some of the great moments in your life won’t necessarily be the things you do; they’ll be things that happen to you. That doesn’t mean you can’t take action to affect the outcome.. You have to take action, and you will. But don’t forget that on any day, you can step out the front door and your whole life can change in an instant – for better or worse.

 

To an extent, the universe has a plan that’s always in motion. A butterfly flaps its wings and it starts to rain – it’s a scary thought, but it’s part of life’s cycle. All these little parts of the machine, constantly working – sometimes forcing you to struggle, and sometimes making sure you end up exactly in the right place at the right time.

 

Taken From Elite Daily

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The Importance of Brand Integrity

By Posted on 2 2 m read

There are many keys to being successful as a person, a business, or a brand. A lot are industry specific but there are many traits that can be found in successful entities across the board.

One of these particular characteristics is brand integrity. We all know that integrity is essentially doing what’s right in the face of adversity or when no one is looking. With business integrity, it’s about doing what’s right for the overall message of your brand despite the trends that could bring short term relevance/money.

An example of someone who’s found success in good brand integrity practice is NeNe Leakes. From her earlier days as just an Atlanta Housewife up to now, NeNe has remained the same outspoken, and at times bourgeois, powerhouse that you are entirely familiar with, regardless of whether or not you like her. NeNe has gone through one of the best and most successful transformations, from the reality television platform to being a working actress, model, spokesperson, and recognizable figure away from her Bravo colleagues. NeNe has achieved this by making sure that the moves she has made away from the show were all in line with the particular direction she wanted to take her career in. On NBC’s The New Normal we see her in the role of sassy personal assistant which is a role that was a natural transition from her real life attitude on Housewives. She remained true to what she was projecting just enough for us to be comfortable seeing her on a different channel but brings enough newness to the character that makes us wonder what else she’s capable of.

Additionally, she didn’t fall into the trap of releasing a clothing line, perfume or some other product endorsement that wouldn’t have connected with who we know as Nene. Without this connection of product to personality (in this case) we as fans/consumers have no reason to patronize or support. Any of these things would have no doubt gained her an initial check but they wouldn’t have been in line with what we know about Nene, and in order for longevity to be achieved you have to establish trust and consistency with your audience. Learn what to take on and what to pass on because not every step is a step I the right direction. THIS is brand integrity.

Live Civil

J. Cole Speaks to Students at Harvard

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Rapper J. Cole made it to the Ivy League after chatting with Harvard students in a special discourse called “The Next Move: A Conversation with J. Cole.”

The St. John’s alumni stopped by the prestigious institute to speak on his come-up from the hip-hop artists that inspired him to write, his past dreams of becoming an NBA baller, having a degree to how rappers can bag the Grammy award for ‘Best Album of the Year.’

Watch Professor Cole take the podium in the three-part clip before.

Part 1: J. Cole speaks on his early influences

Part 2: J. Cole speaks on rapping with his friends, NBA aspirations and his “Plan B”

Part 3: J. Cole speaks on changing the game, politics, Grammys and open Q&A with students

 

How Steve Stoute Made It to the Top by Breaking the Rules

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In life there are people who are governed by rules, held prisoner by rules (or by the consequences of breaking them), and those who excel by making their own rules. Music executive and brand marketing guru, Steve Stoute, has definitely excelled by making his own rules and Ad Age agrees as he’s just been named their 2013 A-List Executive of the Year.

This particular story begins in the early 90’s during which Steve Stout served as the President of Urban Music at Sony Music Entertainment, and occupied the same title at Interscope Geffen A&M Records. It was during this time that Stoute worked with several legendary artists such as U2, Eve, Mariah Carey, Will Smith and even produced Eminem’s debut album, “The Slim Shady LP“. Being such a keyholder in the music industry and establishing strong, solid relationships with the best of the best, would soon serve Steve well in his transition into advertising and brand marketing.

Steve attributes the change in his way of thinking to seeing a spike in Ray Ban sales shortly after a particular style was worn by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the original Men In Black movie. Where this seemed a small coincidence to everyone else, Steve recognized it as a market trait and capitalized on its potential. Realizing that people were beginning to pay profitable attention to celebrities, Steve used his wealth of connections within the music industry to bring about a change in the buyers market that would not only focus on pop culture, but use it to inspire and create itself in a way that created money for just about everybody. As the mastermind behind Justin Timberlake and McDonald’s amazing collaboration for “I’m lovin’ it…” and the short-lived, but highly successful Chris Brown and Doublemint gum relationship, Steve Stoute was approaching marketing and brand reimaging with a similar mind to how he approached music as an executive. By pairing plain American standards such as McDonald’s and Doublemint gum with artists who, at the time, were among the most relevant, he was able to successfully resuscitate brands that had become stagnant and silent in their omnipresence. And all of this is on the lower scale of his accomplishments.

From there Steve launched his own general marketing agency, Translation, which set out to reach the masses, indifferent to culturally specific marketing, and reaching the growing audience of individuals with similar thoughts and values regardless of their varying backgrounds. It was during this era in 2011 that Steve Stoute was inspired to write “The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy” where he laid out the hard fact that multiple cultures are the new general market.

It’s this way of thinking, this unorthodox approach, and not being afraid to try a different way to solve a problem, that has brought Steve Stoute textbook worthy success. He is a shining example of what exactly it means to think outside the box, even when that box precedes your life and your parents lives, is iron-clad in its way of thinking, and was established and run by innumerable faces that look nothing like you. His work alone speaks to the fact that if you’ve done your homework be strong in your convictions and use every resource you have strategically, because your fresh outlook, if successfully executed, will not only shine for you, but it will expand the playing field of whatever industry you’ve chosen to be a part of. And that’s something we at Live Civil can stand behind, leading with forward thinking!

[Video] Vibe Vixen Features Our Own Karen Civil in “A Walk In Her Shoes” Parts 1 & 2

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Recently, Social Media and Entertainment Maven (namesake and kingpin ’round these parts) Karen Civil was featured in Vibe Vixen’s spotlight on women in the industry “Walk In Her Shoes“. The 2-part mini video series follows Ms. Civil first, as she gets ready for the inaugural DJ Global Spin Awards, talks about her upcoming book, and offers some words on her experiences in gaining success as a woman in a male dominated industry.

In the second installment of the video we head back to LA (from NY) to catch Karen as she hosts the Live Civil Brunch. The Live Civil Brunch is a perfect marriage for what Vibe Vixen’s Walk In Her Shoes stands for, as it celebrates influential women across various industries and brings them together in the spirit of support and empowerment. We love Karen and with this inside peak into the brains behind the beast, you all get a chance to see and understand just how ferocious her hustle is and how she does it with the utmost poise and a set of killer heels!

Check out their short write up and both parts of Walk In Her Shoes here!

How to Have a Year that Matters

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Let’s cut the crap. Life is short, you have less time than you think, and there are no baby unicorns coming to save you. So rather than doling out craptastic advice to you about Making!! It!! To!! The!! Top!!™, let me humbly ask: do you want to have a year that matters — or do you want to spend another year starring-slash-wallowing in the lowest-common-denominator reality show-slash-whiny soap opera of your own inescapable mediocrity-slash-self-imposed tragedy?

If (congratulations) your unquenched desire to have better than a smoking trainwreck of a so-called life exceeds your frenzied mania for spending another 365 days wallowing in a sea of junk-food wrappers, then — don’t worry, I’ll be gentle — here are a few tiny questions.

Why are you here? I don’t mean to induce a full blown heart palpitation accompanied panic attack filled existential crisis in you (or maybe I do) — so let’s keep it simple. This coming year: why are you (really) here? There are plenty of answers to this biggest of questions — but, no: all answers aren’t created equal. There are poor ones, which will probably lead to a long, dull, dismal, rainy Sunday of a year. And there are better ones — which just might begin to explosively unfurl a life that feels fully worth living. Allow me to break it down for you.

What do you want? Here are some perfectly valid answers, if tedious mediocrity’s the limit of your horizon this year: money, sex, power, fame, keeping up with the Kardashians. Here are some better answers, if a year in a life meaningfully well lived is what you’re after. To make a difference. To transform something that sucks. To create that which transforms. To build that which counts. To experience what’s true. To do stuff that matters.

How much does it matter? Here are some pretty good answers, if a snoozer of a year in a cavernous landfill of a life is what you’re after. To your boss, her boss, his boss, or their boss. To shareholders, to the markets, to “consumers.” Here are some better answers, if you want this to be a year that one day that, in a surprisingly short time, you don’t just remember, but that you still savor: to society, to humanity, to tomorrow. To the timeless spirit of furious impossibility that characterizes the art of human excellence — not just to the zombie vampire robots that make up the bulk of our beige, big-box, yawn-inducingly banal infomercial-for-dystopia of a so-called economy.

What’s it going to take? You don’t get to a life well lived using the tired capabilities and skills built to Farmville the cubefarm. You need to “use” not just your whole mind, but to learn to employ your whole being: mind, heart, soul, and body. If nothing less than a life worth living’s your goal, you probably need to nurture not just the so-called pseudoscientific skills of a sartorially power-suited spreadsheet jockey — counting beans, pillaging the townsfolk, sweetly stabbing your peers in the back, all the while slickly glad-handing your higher-ups — but the arts of empathy, humility, passion, imagination, rebellion, to name just a few.

Who’s on your side? A life meaningfully well lived isn’t a Western, and you’re not John Wayne (although I bet you, like me, look darn good in a cowboy hat). Rugged individualism is nice in theory, but the truth is: if you’re going to make a difference, you’re probably not going to make it happen all by your lonesome. So who are your mentors and allies, friends and peers? Who’s at your back, manning your sails, crewing your boat? Here’s a hint: if you look around and your boat’s empty, learn to lead. Challenge, provoke, inspire, connect — and then, harder still, evoke the best in people. For it is the best in us that, in turn, elevates our capacity to love; the truest currency of a life well lived. And so respect is earned — and love given — not just to those who pander, but those who matter.

Where’s your true north? If you’re going to live a life that matters, you need an ethical compass: a belief system with a true north that points toward values that are in some sense enduringly, meaningfully good. Lance Armstrong’s true north seems to have been trophies — not championships; and the result, I’d bet, is a life that now feels arid, empty, wasted. So what’s your true north? In what direction do you find the stuff that makes life “good”? Does your true north point to consumption, status, transactions — instead of investment, accomplishments, relationships? If it’s the former, I’d bet: a life well lived is going to remain as elusive to you as it’s been to Lance.

What breaks your heart? Follow your passion, we’re often told. But how do you find your passion? Let me put it another way: what is it that breaks your heart about the world? It’s there that you begin to find what moves you. If you want to find your passion, surrender to your heartbreak. Your heartbreak points towards a truer north — and it’s the difficult journey towards it that is, in the truest sense, no mere passing idyllic infatuation, but enduring, tempestuous passion.

What’s it worth? A life well lived isn’t partytime with the airheads at the McClubs in Ibiza. And here’s the inconvenient truth: it’s going to take more than the tired old refrains of hard work, dedication, commitment, and perseverance. It’s going to take very real heartbreak, sorrow, grief, and disappointment. Only you can decide how much is too much. Is it worth it? Aaron Swartz, who packed an astonishing amount into his short 26 years, was relentlessly persecuted by an overweening prosecutor — and tragically took his own life in part for it. Van Gogh, of course, famously died for his art. A life well lived always demands one asks of one’s self: is it worth it? Is the heartache worth the breakthrough; is the desolation worth the accomplishment; is the anguish balanced by the jubilation; perhaps, even, are the moments of bitter despair, sometimes, finally, the very instants we treasure most? There’s no easy answer, no simplistic rule of thumb. The scales of life always hang before us — and always ask us to weigh the burden of our choices carefully.

Sure, you might read all the above and mutter: “Duuude? Check me Broseph. All I really want is a mega-bonus, a lifetime membership to the VIP room, and the keys to a Maserati.” Welcome, then, to bootylicious mediocrity. For mediocrity isn’t the poor, hardscrabble immigrant cleaning the bathroom at the 7-11: it’s the lucky trust fund kid who could’ve, just maybe, lived a life worth living — and thinks a life worth living is a loft, a corner office, a sports car, and a designer coffee machine instead. All that stuff’s nice — but entirely besides the point. Of life. For the simple, timeless truth is: You’ll never find the rapture of accomplishment in mere conquest, the incandescence of happiness in mere possession, or the searing wholeness of meaning in mere desire. You can find them only — only — in the exploration of the fullness of human possibility.

Hence: every moment of every day of this year, and every year that follows, what I want you to map is the uncharted shore of potential: the capacity of life to dream, wonder, imagine, create, build, transform, better, and love; the infusion of the art of living into the heart of every instant of existence.

We’ve been taught to be obedient rationalists. And the rationalists say: there’s no magic in the world. But they miss the point. There’s a kind of quiet magic that each and every one of us is condemned to have in us, every moment of our lives: the facility to exalt life beyond the mundane, and into the meaningful; beyond the generic, and into the singular; through the abstract, and into the concrete; past the individual, and towards the universal. And it’s when we reject this, the truest and worthiest gift of life, that we have squandered the fundamental significance of being human; that the soil of our lives feels arid, featureless, fallow, a desert that never came to life; because, in truth, it has been. And so this almost magical facility you and I have, potential, is something like an existential obligation that we must live up to: for it’s only when we not just accept it, but employ it at it’s maximum, that we can reconcile ourselves not merely to regret, but with mortality; that we can escape not merely our own lesser selves, but the all-destroying scythe of futility; and come, finally, to find, at the end of the day, not merely time’s revenge on life, but life’s revenge on time: an abiding grace for both the fragility and the fullness of life.

I don’t pretend any of the above is revolutionary, or new, or anything less than obvious. Yet, the lessons of a life well lived rarely are: they’re simple, timeless truths.

So let me ask again. Why are you here? Do you want this to be another year that flies by, half-hearted, arid, rootless, barely remembered, dull with dim glimpses of what might have been? Or do you want this to be a year that you savor, for the rest of your surprisingly short time on Planet Earth, as the year you started, finally, irreversibly, uncompromisingly, to explosively unfurl a life that felt fully worth living?

The choice is yours. And it always has been.

 

 

 

Taken from: Harvard Business Review

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How to Chase Your Dreams in 2013

By Posted on 1 2 m read

 

 

As 2013 gets off to a rousing start, I wonder what you are planning to accomplish this year? Notice I said planning, not wishing, hoping or praying to the Good Lord that divine intervention comes down and strikes you with the Lucky Stick. For me, it means continuing to work on big projects at ESSENCE while building the Tanisha’s Tips brand. What I’ve found in my own quest for continued success is to be careful not to say yes too casually. Why? Because I then find myself overwhelmed by the mere thought of the to-do lists. There is nothing wrong with wanting more for your career. Go hard, drive fast and get it done. But don’t drive so hard that you flame out in a fit of anger or worse, you get sick (that flu bug is a mother, shut your mouth). As you ladies march on toward world domination (yes, I’ve actually heard people use this term endearingly), keep these thoughts in mind:

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Here’s a new mantra for 2013: Under-promise and over-deliver. This sounded like sheer genius coming out of the mouth of a co-worker recently. I thought, I’ll try that! And, you should too.

Have a vision. Most people are short-term minded. They say I want to be a writer, actor, stylist, cop, blogger, lawyer, nurse, etc., without fully recognizing what that looks like. What do you see on this road to greatness? How will you overcome the haters, the obstacles, the negativity. There have been plenty of times I have been ignored, laughed at or just plain insulted for expressing my dreams. But it’s never stopped me because I am not defined by other’s short-sightedness, only by the hopes and dreams I’ve yet to unlock.

Stay the course. It’s so easy to fall off track. Instead of thinking about all of the checklists you have to rip through over the remaining days of the year, plan that list out for a week and rip through it one day at a time. When your fall or even fail, get your behind back up. Take a walk, have a good cry, but continue to tell yourself, “I can do this.” That is what I say to myself before I get on stage to host an event, give a speech or make a presentation. Works like a charm.

 

Taken from: Essense.com

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