The M & Ms of Life
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
In our complex world of constant change and turbulence, it is important to find the M & M’s of life. The current climate of the day is downsizing, outsizing, resizing in so many organizations that we are unsure what the next day will bring. By the time you read this article, we may be at war where many families are now separated because men and women have gone to serve our country. The world is full of chaos and challenge, but you must determine within yourself to find the M & M’s of life.
The M & M’s of life are Motivation and Momentum. We must commit to being motivated to achieve the goals and dreams that life has to offer. We must be willing to allow the motivation we have to propel us forward and keep the momentum going.
As you reflect on the M & M’s of life consider some of the following points to help you in your quest of maintaining your personal motivation.
It is so important to consider the mindset we hold each day. What is your mindset when you get up in the morning? What do you do to maintain a positive mindset for the day? What do you feed your mind early in the morning? What works for me is beginning my day with prayer and positive thoughts and reading inspirational material. There will be plenty of time throughout the day to find out what is happening in the world. Starting my day with positive thoughts allows me to stay centered and at peace. It is important that each person finds what works for him or her to maintain a positive mindset.
O- overcomer People must see themselves as an overcomer when faced with the difficulties of the day. Trials and tests will come, but when you are focused on the positive things of life and have the momentum going, you can have victory in your present situation. Maintain the perspective that this challenge is an opportunity for you to be an overcomer. It will cause you to look within and find strengths and abilities you had forgotten were there. Then watch the growth you will have and soar!
T- totally committed It is vital that you are totally committed to accomplishing the goals you have set for yourself. Don’t allow the roadblocks of life to keep you from achieving all that life has in store for you. It is imperative that you are sold out for doing the hard work that will be required to make your dreams come true. What are you willing to do to get what you want is a question you must keep in front of you. When you are totally committed it is not about how you feel that keeps you going; it is your commitment level to finish the task or assignment.
I- integrity Integrity is essential in living a purpose driven life. Do you keep promises and commitments? Do you do what you say you will do? Do you walk the talk? Integrity is about being real and true to your core values. It may require you saying things that are not popular. A true test of integrity is what you do when no one is watching and also what your friends and family say about you in your absence. Integrity is about making sure your words and deeds line up. Consider a scale of one to ten, where one is low and ten is high. Where would your integrity-rating fall?
V- victorious It is necessary to believe in your heart that you can have the victory in whatever your situation is. You may feel like you are all alone and walking in the valley. It is at this time you must resolve within yourself that though you are in the valley at this time, you have the momentum and are climbing your way back to the mountaintop. Find your spiritual grounding and get anchored in knowing that our conditions in life don’t remain the same. We may be in a storm in for a season, but remember the seasons change as will our circumstance.
A- attitude It’s been said life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond to it. What is the attitude you embrace each day? What factors influence your attitude? Attitude is how you respond to what life sends your way. If it rains outside does that alter your attitude or do you carry your weather within? Be careful of the people you associate with because some people have bad attitudes that spill out on you. These people are often called toxic because they will do whatever they can to change your positive attitude to one that is negative. Your attitude determines whether people want to be around you. Who do you know that gravitates and longs to be around negative people? I rest my case. Look for ways you can maintain an attitude that is positive and worth catching. Smile more, do random acts of kindness, be polite and courteous to others, read positive literature are just a few of the things you can do to keep the momentum going and your attitude positive.
T- time-management mastery Find ways to effectively manage your time. Don’t allow procrastination, laziness, or other peoples’ agendas to keep you from accomplishing what you want out of life. Remember if you don’t master your time someone else will. We only get 24 hours a day. Are you making the most out of the time you have? Learn the importance of prioritizing the tasks you have to complete and then begin to chisel away at them until they are done.
Mastery of your time is essential if you are to keep the momentum going and moving forward in a positive productive way.
I- innovative So often we get stuck in the way things have always been done. That is when creativity and innovation are vital to getting us out of that rut. We need to open our mind to new ways of doing things and entertain out of the box thinking, sometimes called green light thinking. It is through some of these innovative times, that some of the greatest ideas have evolved.
O- optimistic Do you see the glass half empty or half full? What is your perspective on life? Maintaining an optimistic viewpoint is helpful in journeying through this maze of life with all its twists and turns. Realize that some days you will be tested on keeping an optimistic outlook. You have to remember that this is not a practice game. It is the real deal. It is important to remember that where you are today is not where you will end up tomorrow. Keeping focused and optimistic is a way to maintain your momentum in life.
N- nurturer In order for your garden to grow, you must cultivate and nurture that garden. This means watering it, fertilizing it, loving it, and whatever else is necessary to have a good harvest. The same is true with our minds. We must cultivate and nourish our minds as well. Failure to do that allows weeds to grow and choke the life out. You must evaluate your life and determine how you can nurture those things that are most important to you. Then just do it! When you do, watch the great harvest you will have in your life.
Revisit and review these practical points on Motivation throughout the year. When you apply them to your life you can maintain your Momentum and go to higher heights. Commit to the M & M’s and enhance the quality of your life.
Nancy J. Lewis is the president of Progressive Techniques, Inc. where the theme of her company is “Developing a Better YOU! Nancy can be reached at (770) 964-5533, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and website: www.progressivetechniquesinc.com
We Are Our Sisters' Keeper
By Michelle Porchia
We have four to five generations of women alive right now. In the workplace we have supervisors, mangers and leaders in their 20's responsible for staff that are older and have much more work experience. When I was a corporate trainer, I often advised more senior workers (work wise and age wise) on how to work effectively with their younger supervisors and colleagues.
This is not about generations though. I want women to understand the value of encouraging, teaching and sharing your experiences with younger women. Conversely, more experienced women can learn from the younger women as well.
I have had many mentees and our relationship has been mutually beneficial, as I would hope all mentor/mentee relationships would be. I’ve asked them what they wanted me to share with them, I shared what they wanted and more. I also learned tremendously from them. One thing I learned from my INROADS advisees was to lighten up. I have stayed in touch with all my mentees and many of my INROADS advisees. Several of them have brought me in to their organizations and/or companies as a speaker or trainer. They’ve also referred people (not just women) who became my coaching clients. When I moved to North Carolina, many gave me names of people they knew to network with.
I conduct workshops for youth. My two oldest granddaughters have given me ideas, information and helped me to understand so much about high school and middle school aged behavior and their thought processes. I have learned so much from my granddaughters and I have a great deal of respect for the two oldest. I have imparted much wisdom, knowledge and experience to them and I have gained so much from them. Again, during my transition to NC, when I was grappling with some things, my oldest daughter reminded me of some of the philosophies I have shared with her over the years.
There are more women in higher positions, in different industries and trailblazers than there were when I was growing up. In fact, when I was growing up, the only women I saw were actors and actresses. I was blessed to have good role models about life. My grandmother was even-tempered. My aunt Gerri taught me the importance of the image I projected by the way I dressed and took care of myself. My aunt (by marriage) Joan showed me that you could be assertive and graceful. She was (is) beautiful, worked in corporate America, had a great sense of humor, was (is) a wonderful cook and was able to stand up for herself. I still look to her for advice. My mother, though I struggled with our relationship as many mothers and daughters do, taught me the importance of education, having a strong work ethic and taught me about accepting cultural differences and exposed me to so many cultural aspects of life. My mother was a concert pianist and an opera singer who never realized her dream. She was a civil worker in Detroit and I don’t remember her ever missing a day of work for illness. I have developed wonderful relationships with some of my younger cousins and continue to learn from them. One cousin has pursued many of her dreams with much success. She has been a news anchor, a director of diversity and now is the president and founder of her own company, Lothery and Associates. Another cousin of mine is a cancer warrior and survivor. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in two areas of her body. She has gone through all the treatment, fought the battle and is now cancer clear. She did it all with style and grace and a smile. She now speaks to
women who have been newly diagnosed with cancer. The nurses and doctors couldn’t believe how she always came to treatments looking glamorous and with high energy and a positive outlook.
We have a responsibility to mentor, sponsor, and guide, encourage and support the women that are following in our footsteps and creating their own paths. We also, even as the older person, can learn from them as well...it’s not too late. We are our sisters’ keeper.
Your Comments Are Welcome
By Debra Gould, MS
Now that the economy is on the slow road to recovery, you might be breathing a big sigh of relief. You avoided the last round of layoffs, so you should be feeling on top of the world, right? But instead, you might be feeling down or unmotivated.
Many people go through intense feelings of guilt after a round of layoffs. They're glad they still have a job, of course, but they often wonder "why me?" They feel guilty they're employed when their friends and co-workers are not. Or they feel remorse in that they're left to pick up the slack and sometimes take on additional roles they were never meant to do.
Experts tell us that feelings like this are quite common after layoffs.
So, what can you do?
1) Stay motivated. Understand that your job exists for a reason, which means you're doing something that benefits someone else in some way. Figuring out how you're helping someone else can dramatically improve your energy level and productivity on the job.
2) Keep your morale up. One way to do this is by volunteering. I know what you're thinking, more work? Think of it as a work 'investment'. You could help someone learn to read so they could get a better job. You could teach computer skills, or mentor a teenager to ensure they get a leg up in their quest for a good job. There are hundreds of ways you can get involved to help others succeed. Volunteering is an incredibly rewarding way to spend your time, and it can really help you keep up the motivation and morale at work (and at home).
3) Reach out. Sometimes being social with people on the job is the last thing on people's minds. But getting to know your co-workers (and even your managers) as people versus just 'work people' is a good strategy. So get out or go out with people from work. It's a fact most of the internal information is still shared outside of the office. Winding down from work with a social outing with your co-workers may be your remedy for seeing work in a different light. But be forewarned, be on your best behavior because work outing behavior may come back to haunt you in the workplace.
It's important to actively combat low motivation and morale after a round of layoffs. You, and your role, survived for a reason. Finding out how you're helping others at your company, and volunteering to help someone else get a better job, can help spark your motivation and make you feel good about what you're doing.
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576, email: email@example.com and website: www.gouldassoc.com
NECN-TV News Anchor Latoyia Edwards with Carole Copeland Thomas
at this summer's National Association of Black Journalist Convention
in Orlando, Florida
by Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
Latoyia Edwards, one of the most enthusiastic and spirited television personalities in the New England region is our opening keynote speaker at the November 7th Multicultural Conference. She kicks off the morning of more than 20 GREAT speakers, panel presenters and diversity advocates who will be a part of our upcoming event.
Did you know that Latoyia is a former Miss Massachusetts???
If not...read on!!!!
With two weeks to go, we hope YOU are planning to attend this exciting conference.
The Multicultural Conference and the Multicultural Symposium Series (MSS) are the brainchild of entrepreneur Carole Copeland Thomas.
DESPITE THE ROLLER COASTER ECONOMY, MSS has been going strong since 2008.
It is the only initiative of its kind started and operated by an African American business owner in the region.
Here's more information on Latoyia Edwards. Hope to see you at our exciting Nov 7th event.
Latoyia Edwards is the weekend Anchor for New England Cable News (NECN) in Boston, Massachusetts.
For 13 years Latoyia has had the privilege of covering breaking news and human interest stories for television and radio outlets in New England and in New York. Latoyia is a regular on Boston's WGBH's Basic Black, a live television program hosted by a panel of the region's sharpest observers, who discuss and debate current news, events, and topics that impact the black community locally and nationally. Latoyia recently served as president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists. During her spare time Latoyia enjoys delivering keynote addresses and motivational speeches to youth groups and school children. Latoyia's story of her rise from the projects to the pulpitis able to connect with young and old alike.
Prior to joining NECN, Latoyia worked as the weekday 5pm News Anchor for WWLP TV Channel 22 in Springfield, MA. Latoyia's experiences with Channel 22 took her as far as Paraguay, as fast as Richard Petty and as high as the Blue Angles.
Before joining Channel 22 Latoyia was crowned Miss Massachusetts, USA 2002. Latoyia accredits the pageant experience for helping project her career.
Before joining the 22 News team Latoyia provided local new updates on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Drive Radio Show for WILD 96.9 in Boston. During that time Latoyia taught Performance for Television at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.
Latoyia first anchored television for Media One Cable News Network in Lowell, MA where she covered local news and political stories for Billerica, Tewksbury and Lowell. Prior to that Latoyia got her start in television as a news reporter for WICZ Channel 40 a Fox Affiliate in Binghamton, New York.
She began her career in news during her college internship as a news writer forWBZ-1030 AM radio. Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College in 1998 Latoyia where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism. Latoyia was a scholar athlete who not only excelled in the classroom but on the basketball court breaking numerous NCAA Division III rebounding and blocked shots records. Latoyia currently ranks 5th in the nation in blocked shots per game 5.1 and 4th in the nation in rebounds per game 15.2.
While at Boston Latin Academy High School Latoyia knew she wanted to be a news reporter - it was in her blood. Latoyia is the oldest on 9 children who grew up the notorious Columbia Point Housing Project in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. As a member of the Strand Theatres Teen Players Latoyia found her solace in competing in city and school sponsored oratorical, speech competitions and plays.
Latoyia is a proud Boston native who was recently names to Boston Business Journal's 2010 Top 40 Under 40 a recognition of Boston's top 40 young professionals who have established themselves as leaders to be watched in their fields.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE NOVEMBER 7TH CONFERENCE.
Carole Copeland Thomas
C. Thomas & Associates
26 Years In Business 1987 - 2013
By Michelle Porchia
I initially developed Innergize Day to help women put themselves first, take time for themselves and to live their passion. Nowadays everyone is so busy going and doing instead of being that everyone needs innergizing. Below are four steps on how you can innergize. It is scheduled for the day after Autumn begins every year because that is when the earth goes to rest.
Step One: Give Yourself Permission
Give yourself permission to put yourself first and NOT feel guilty. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of others. When you rest, relax, renew,rejuvenate, you have the energy and clarity to do what you want to do.
Step Two: Take Your Breaks
There is a tendency to skip lunch and breaks while we work--or we
eat while we work. It is important to take periodic breaks to rest your
body and mind. When you rest your mind, you are more productive
and creative. It is also important to eat properly (this does not mean eating at your desk and working through lunch).
Step Three: Entrepreneurs: You Are Your Business
Investing in taking care of your body is investing in the foundation
of your business. If you are not able to work, your business will suffer.
It is crucial to make health and happiness a priority while developing
your business. If you work 24/7, you will burn out. You need to
schedule time for you in the same way you do for your clients. (Are
you getting the theme here?)
Step Four: Celebrate
As Kool and the Gang sang, "Celebrate good times, come on!" You need to celebrate yourself. Celebrate life. Celebrate the little things as well as the big things. You don't have to celebrate elaborately. You can do simple things like treat yourself to flowers, a new book (and allowing yourself to read it), going to bed early, watching a movie in bed, etc.
For more information on innergizing or to schedule time with Michelle to help you to innergize, click here to visit Michelle's website.
Book Debra, Michelle, Nancy or Carole for your next speaking engagement or training event.