In taking a page from my Auntie O’s playbook (you may know her as Oprah Winfrey), what I know for sure is that every human being was born with a certain measure of tenacity and strength—including you. And as a result, I’ve narrowed down my long list of thought-provoking ideas to three specific questions to help inspire you and push you to unlock the greatness that dwells inside.
1. What’s Your WHY?
What do you want in life? When you feel one hundred percent fulfilled in your life, what are you doing at that exact moment? If I had the power to rewind the tape, I would tell 20-something-year-old Khaliah to do “it” for her happiness, not the bank account. My “it” at the time was money. My “it” now is to empower others. I do “it” now because my “why” is bigger than me. My “why” includes YOU. Now, don’t get me wrong, we all need to eat but at what cost do we push the plate of life back and say, “Enough. I am full of exactly what I need?”
2. Your Brand Matters, Right?
Google your name. Are you the same person behind the wheel, in the board room, in the kitchen and online? Are you hiding behind a persona on social media in fear some may not accept the “real” you? Regardless of individual views and social biases, sharing and embracing those traits and attribute that make us stand out from all others will ensure our brands (and lives) are consistent online and offline.
3. What’s Your Giveback Strategy?
Try this on for size. What if you replaced 60 minutes of scrolling on Instagram a month with donating your dope gifts and super talents to make a difference in your community? What causes are you recklessly passionate about—finding a cure for ALS, feeding the Homeless, or ending Domestic Violence? There are millions of ways to make an impact and give back to our communities without breaking the bank. Sometimes time spent is worth more than money can buy.
All in all, you must be willing to be true to you and your own path no matter what. It is okay to make others comfortable around you but it is not okay to dim your light so that others can shine brighter than you. Ask yourself tough questions. Take the wheel of your own life and throw your gears into overdrive in the lane of “DOPE!” Take a deep breath and say this out loud and proud: