Seeding Strange Fruit

Here it is again, in our faces; yet another time in which we see how the lack of consequences
for those who work with/for the law enables them to believe they are above it.

Dear Friends, Family, Nation Builders, Legacy Mavericks, et al –

Though we have been on hiatus, justice never sleeps. The Spring Valley, SC school beating is yet another deplorable malpractice by law enforcement against an unarmed young person of color.

Before you get offended, please take a moment to look deeply at your beliefs.  We as Americans have been sold a bill of goods. It’s like the idea of diamonds for engagement rings or BMWs that never depreciate in value.  There is a social conditioning surrounding what we believe about people of color – whether we fall into this category or not.

You may not know this, but Project Legacy exists for the sole purpose of strengthening our nation.  Our chosen vessel of healing just happens to be the family.  We are founded on the principle that a nation is only as strong as the state of its families, just as families are only as strong at their weakest individuals.

It would seem we have our work cut out for us. It would seem, in light of all these media storms surrounding police brutality – in this case aimed at people of color – that our nation is weak, our families are weak, our individuals are weak.

Strength is the ability to love despite the circumstances.  Strength is the capacity for compassion. Strength is the ability to treat people as individuals despite some categorization. Strength is not letting your personal biases affect your public service. Strength is taking the time to learn and grow rather than settling. Strength is taking the time to consider how things could be better for everyone, and work towards that, rather than suggest things are fine because they work for you.

America… we are not strong.

Here we are yet again; another indication that we as a country have yet to truly see the value in ALL human life; regardless of race, sex, or class. We turn on the television, surf the Internet, or scroll social media on our small, handheld screens and there it is in our faces: inconsequence for those who work with/for the law enabling them, yet again, to believe they are above it or ARE it. (All of it, judge, jury and EXECUTIONER).

America, we are weak.

We are seeding strange fruit.  We are spreading spurs that are rife with old ideologies that have, in times past, shown us the worst of ourselves.

Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Rodney King, Sean Bell, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Jones, Niya Kinney, and the other young woman in the Spring Valley video who was brutally assaulted. These injustices are evidence that we are failing, because “Injustice for one of us is an injustice for all of us.  Injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.”  What that really means is: Don’t think you are safe. Tomorrow someone you thought was on your side, someone who smiled at you just yesterday, may decide it’s your turn.

The Declaration of Independence states “all men are created equal”. The Constitution outlines the rights of men as it pertains to their independence. True, at the time of its penning none of the aforementioned would likely be deemed “men”, but hasn’t that been addressed legally? Isn’t it time for us to catch up socially? We don’t have another 100 years to wait for folks.  So, I ask you again, how long?

How long must we wait for things to change? How long must we wait before we change?

Please do not let the surge of coverage in the media surrounding these events to desensitize you to their horrific nature. These are husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. These are someone’s loved ones, someone’s friends. Some of them are children hardly old enough to have experienced life.

They say when we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. I fear if this continues, we will indeed see the seeds of these strange fruits actually bud again.

With grace, love, peace and a whole lot of heartache,

Seeding Strange Fruit Read More »

Kindred Connections

friendsWhen you know your worth and what you bring to the table, it makes it easier for you
to place people where they belong in your life based on what they show you
rather than where you would like them to be based on
your hopes for their potential.

Hey there Legacy Leaders, Mavericks, Mavens and Kindreds –

Thank you for joining me here again. It is truly an honor and a pleasure to share with you all as you embark on your journeys to a limitless legacy.

This is the final installment in our foundation building series on how to create the life you and your family desire and deserve.  As always, my hope is that by the end you find a way to love big and live whole, so that all you are comes to serve not only your circle, but the world at large.

To date, we’ve discussed the importance of having a clear vision and taking consistent action toward achieving it.  We’ve delved into the importance of knowing yourself and how it attributes to clarity, and what kind of complementary kindreds you will likely need when creating your inner-circle so you can be effective and consistent.

Today, we’re going to talk about how to make new friends.  Not simply how to identify them, but what you will need to know and understand before you start looking for the folks who will eventually serve in your “Circle of Trust.”

You may or may not be familiar with the Ben Stiller movie franchise, which began with Meet the Parents. In this film, Gaylord “Gary” Focker – it’s as funny as it sounds – (played by Ben Stiller) meets his future father-in-law, Jack, (played by Robert DeNiro) who happens to be a retired CIA spy.  He has access to resources and manpower that allow him to pry into every personal facet of Gary’s life. Gary’s relationship is practically ruined by his father-in-law because at every turn he seems to prove that Gary isn’t worthy to be in his “Circle of Trust”.

Jack is very particular about his Circle of Trust. No one is allowed in (or out) without his say-so.  Furthermore, he is deliberately intentional about the outcomes for his Circle.

Granted, Jack is a little fanatical and overbearing, which ultimately leads to him being put out of his own circle, but we could learn a couple things from him about how we look for potential partners (in life, love, business, etc) and what we need to know before we do.

Be aware of what you bring to the table.  Do you know who are?  Do you understand your inherent value?  How do you see yourself: as complete, a work in progress, in need of someone else to make you better? Are you a perfectionist?  Do you hold the reigns too tight, or do you trust others around you because you trust yourself and your judgment?

Here’s a lesson we can learn from Jack. HE thought a little too highly of himself. For most of his adult life, his family indulged him in his beliefs about what was best – without question.  Questioning his authority meant questioning his intelligence and his integrity; it implied that the person inquiring knew better than he did. Though we don’t know it right away, Jack fears losing his family more than anything, which is why he enmeshes himself so deeply into their lives.  But his fear of losing them is rooted in his fear of failing them. For Jack, losing his family is the equivalent of his failing as a father, a husband and a man. It’s only when he lets go (kinda) that he gets everything he wants.

How you view yourself is imperative to how you choose the people around you.  When you know your worth and what you bring to the table, it makes it easier for you to place people where they belong in your life based on what they show you rather than where you would like them to be based on your hopes for their potential. When you trust yourself, you trust your judgment (and you know how to brush off the hiccups).

Before you go looking for people to fill your inner-circle, you need to be honest with yourself about what you want and why you want it.  Again, drawing people into your life is all about you first. If you aren’t honest with yourself you will invariably lie to the world around you. For instance, you may think you need someone assertive, forthcoming and articulate to complement your quiet, meek demeanor.  However, what you may really need is someone who exhibits those traits who can help you develop them within yourself.  This means that not only will s/he be assertive and strong, but s/he will also be compassionate, considerate and patient.  See how the relationship dynamic shifted a little when you added those other attributes? You no longer need someone who will simply do those things for you, but will do them with you.

Let’s revisit our friend Jack again.  Jack knew exactly what he wanted, but he wasn’t honest about his why.  Outwardly, he appeared to want his family to have the best of everything so they could be happy, but in truth it was about them having the best of everything so he could look good. Once Jack accepted that truth, he as able to step away from it and allow his family to have what they wanted.

When you’re honest about your why, you’ll find that things take an amazing turn for the better. Not only do people show up who want to help you, but suddenly there’s a synchronicity – a synergy – that allows you to go farther, faster. Be honest, get real and get moving.  Who do you need? Why do you really need them?  If it makes you tear up (or choke a little) you’re on-track.

Building a life of laughter, love, abundance that can ensure for generations takes work – teamwork.  You are going to need help; whether it be your spouse, parents, family or friends.  You are going to need people to sacrifice themselves at times.  But can you give as good as you get?  Are you able to return the favor?  You may be unashamed to ask for help when you need, but can you be equally unashamed to offer help when it’s required?  I’m not talking about unsolicited advice; I’m talking about genuine assistance.  It doesn’t take much effort to help someone in the way you think they should be help, but it takes patience, compassion and humility to help someone in the way they need and prefer.

Let’s revisit our dear friend Jack one last time.  Ironically, though this movie is one of the funnies I’ve seen in some time, it deals with some heavy hitting family dynamic issues – and in ways that make it bearable to watch…repeatedly! See, by the end of the film Jack has been put out of the circle of trust he started. His wife and daughter want nothing to do with him, and Gaylord…Gary, has decided that the pressure of being part of the family is too much, so he opts to end his relationship with his fiance and hop a plane back home.  Jack now has a choice: stand his ground and believe he knows best or alter his position and ultimately give his family what he wanted for them all along, their happiness.  Of course, he chooses the latter.  Now, Jack – who’d initially used every trick in his book to get Gary to disappear – will use every single one of his resources to get Gary to stay! Sure, Jack seeing his family happy served his ultimate goal but he had to be willing to sacrifice himself.

The same holds true for you.  If you want people in your life to love you, honor you, appreciate you, support you and contribute to your overall well-being, you have to reciprocate.  Sometimes, you even have to initiate. This is what I call having a servant’s heart.  It’s when you give freely, not expecting anything in return, that you receive most fully,

Okay, so by now you have figured out that you have a lot of work to do before you can draw the people you need into your life – especially where it pertains to your inner-circle. You need to know who you are, what you want and why you want it.  But, perhaps most important of all, you need to know how to be a friend.

Having the life you desire and deserve is as simple as having people around you who support your vision, believe in your dreams and are willing to help you get where you want to be.  If you want to surround yourself with such people, be one yourself.

Kindred Connections Read More »

The Power of Who…

Without the ability to leverage your relationships, you cannot and will not prevail.
Sometimes your relationships are
more important than your mindset.
The right people can help you get your mind right when you need it. 

Welcome back!

And to those of you joining us for the first time, hello there! I am so happy to have you here with me. (As you likely guessed from my exclamation points.).

This is the final installment of an introductory series on goal-getting; how to visualize an end and then hit the ground to make it happen.  If you’ve been with me a while you will note that I use words like deliberate intention and manifesting.  I say things like “Source energy” and “Spirit”, but at no point will you hear me say that you can will things to you without work.  I am a firm believer in the precept that “faith without works is dead.”

It is for this very reason that I have spent the last few weeks explaining the importance of clarity and consistency; personal identity; and how that identity looks on the world; the latter of which I broke down in two parts (click here and here). I believe it is imperative for us to understand all the internal and external elements of creating an abundant life.  I believe that we are supernatural beings having a natural experience, therefore we get our marching order from a Higher Power.  When we are solid in our identity, we become clear about our assignment and can be consistent in our actions. As we progress, we will encounter those who agree to walk with us. Some will temporary and we will serve them.  Others won’t stay long, but will be of service.  Others still will stay with us through many seasons of our lives.

Business consultant, author and public speaker, Bob Beudine, wrote a great book entitled The Power of Who.  The book attests that we already know everyone we need to know.  Now, with social media and other instant forms of access, we are fewer than two or three degrees of separation away from anyone we may need to know, which means that we know someone who knows them or can gain us entry into their circle. In short – you already know everyone you need to know.

I urge anyone who is looking to create a better life for themselves and their family to read the book.  Bob breaks down the different types of connections we have with people, from acquaintances to close friends. He notes that Jesus used a similar structure in his relationships when selecting to work with disciples.  There were those with whom he interacted occasionally (Barnabas), those whom knew of him and spoke well of him (the 200), those who knew him well (the 12) and those in his inner-circle (the 3).

Interestingly, including Jesus there were four people in his inner-circle.  I don’t believe this is a coincidence. In this group Jesus would be the Visionary, John the Builder, Peter the Implementer and James the Analyst. Indeed, you must have all four to outline a plan and see it fulfilled WELL.  There is something about all four perspectives with their varying talents, skills and abilities coming together that makes it effective and swift.

If, upon taking inventory of your life, you notice that you have a particular talent but you aren’t seeing the best fruits, I urge you to look at “the who” factor in your life.

Who are you around?  Is there enough diversity? Are all four groups represented? Are they represented well? Are you surrounded by frustrated, average or mediocre counterparts? Are you expending more energy trying to get everyone up to par than you are getting things done?  Are you missing counterparts altogether; lacking the resources and support you need to “Pass Go and Collect $200”? (If you’re not old enough for that comment, kudos for reading this, but go look up Monopoly then come back).

The point is, without people in your life – without the ability to leverage your relationships for mutual benefit – you cannot and will not prevail.  Your partnerships are as important as your mindset. In fact, I will even go so far as to say that in many cases your partnerships are more important than your mindset because the right people can help you get your head out of your butt when it counts. Choose wisely.

Want to know how to pick the right friends?  I’m glad you asked.  Join us next time, when we’ll be talking about just that very thing.  Ha!

You know I love you.  You love me, too.

Until next time, Mavericks and Mavens.

Live, Love, Laugh, Legacy –

PS  – Where are you on your legacy journey?  Are you finally finding the kind of kindreds that make your mouth water and your toes curl (In a totally spiritual way, of course)? Are you seeing a pattering in your “people picking process”? Is it working for you? Something you need to change?  I’d love to know. Leave me a comment below.

Special thanks to Google and for the featured image.

The Power of Who… Read More »

Build It and Brand It

For some, [change] will mean falling into an entirely new category,
whereas for others it will mean operating in the same category but at a higher level.
Consider where you are and respond accordingly.

Happy September you Renegade Legacy Leaders, you!!


As always, I’m glad to be here with you. I’m looking forward to wrapping our introductory posts, so we can get to some nitty-gritty application.  We’ve got just one leg of our foundational series, and then it’s off to the races.

Over the course of these past few weeks, we’ve been discussing the groundwork for creating and living your best life; in short, how to manifest everything you claim you want.  My goal of course, is always to help you build the best of everything for yourself and for those you love – and of course if it serves the world in the process, I’m all about it.

So with that said, we begin this week with the follow-up to our personality groups.  Last week we discussed Visionaries and Analysts.  This week it’s all about the Builders and Implementers.

Just as the Visionaries draft the concept and the Analysts revise the structure to make things better, Builders lay the framework for how everything will be done and Implementers make it all happen.   Builders set the goals, but Implementers are the brand.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – it’s important to understand that everyone is important to the manifestation process.  A vision is nothing without those to bring it to life.  All parties represent different parts of the same body, the one machine.

Something else to keep in mind, no one person embodies any one trait in its entirety. As you grow and change, you can expect to shift gears and change directions.  For some, this will mean falling into an entirely new dominant category, whereas for others it will mean operating in the same category but at a higher level. Consider where you are and respond accordingly.  This is all about finding what works best for you, so you can your family can have a limitless legacy.

So with that said, let’s jump right in…

The Builder
Optimal Function: The only way I can explain Builders is to reference The Lego Movie. I cracked up when I saw it because that is precisely how I see Builders. They look at everything and see the plan right there before them.  They know all the parts and pieces and how to make it work.  A Builder is in her element when surrounded by all the other groups. If visionaries offer the why and analysts offer the how, Builders are the when.  They can tell you the order things need to happen in and who should be responsible for it.  The most successful businesses have Builders working as their COOs and people managers, they understand the importance of a timely launch and getting folks to buy-in.  When you see systems in place where people WILLINGLY give up evenings, weekends and holidays it’s usually because there are Builders at the helm giving them a reason to. If you’re a “Master Builder”, as they say in The Lego Movie, you don’t see things the way others do but you get the job done in ways they wish they could.

Median Function: Builders at the median level are typically missing one very viable component of their plan – the vision…the why.  A Builder who doesn’t have a clear “why” for what they are creating might be great at his job, but feels exceptionally unfulfilled.  A Builder without a solid foundation to build on is simply keeping busy.  Busyness is often the number one killjoy of Builders. Builders like to be actionable, they can translate an action plan into a measurable goal like nobody’s business. If you find yourself Building without a clear vision, stop and regroup. First, create an inventory of your skills and assets, then get on sites like LinkedIn, X and XX to investigate start-up companies and contract grantors in need of your expertise. Why spend another day unhappy and unfulfilled? You’re a builder…you make things happen.  Start with you!

Frustrated Function: A Builder of Frustrated Function (BOFF, not to be confused with BFF) is easily idenitified by his/her cyclical life. A Builder’s life revolves around how things work.  And a frustrated Builder’s life doesn’t work. Frustrated Builders are often running from something. A mistake made in the early days of learning their craft. As you can imagine, if Builders build – then a mistake for a builder could mean something fell apart.  In my experience, most frustrated Builders are often adult children of Divorce (ACODs) who were unable to “fix” their parents’ marriages.  They feel responsible for the dissolution of that union and the residual after effects. If this sounds like you, I urge you to look into some books about reshaping your ACOD legacy, self-forgiveness, and forgiving others. Considering finding an external support source; like a group, religious leader or paid professional. You’ll likely find as many have that “running toward that which scares will make it flee from you.”

The Implementer
Optimal Function: Before I get too deep into the ideal Implementer, I first want to take a moment to say that you guys (and gals) often get a bad wrap.  You’re loyalty is mistaken for misguidance. People underestimate your gall, your resilience, your tenacity and your shine. Folks don’t get how brilliant and forward thinking you are.  An Implementer operating in her prime is precisely why companies win awards.  You are the service-oriented, the people’s people.  Implementers are the bread and butter of any organization, the heart and soul of every industry.  Without you, there is nothing else.  Union organizers, labor leaders, picketers, protestors, those who march along in silence – you are the ones who make history.  You don’t follow the rules, you follow your gut.  When you see something that works for you, you buy in wholeheartedly and you make it work. You deserve to be treated with dignity and respect…and you know it.  You work hard and play harder.  You know the gears can’t grind without you and you make sure your employers compensate you in-kind – if not monetarily, than with flexibility, time off, benefits, and other perks. You aren’t working yourself to death, you’re working to make a life.

Median Function: If she isn’t at her best, an Implementer can get drawn into the montony of the routine.  She’ll start off bright-eyed, bushy tailed and eager but it will give way to lethargy, apathy and even attitude.  Before long she’s absentmindedly clocking in and clocking out, not giving much care to what she’s doing.  Have you ever been somewhere and that one person behind the counter makes you wonder how they have a job? It isn’t because their mom owns the shop or the hiring executive owed their uncle a favor; this MLI (median level implementer) is on the way out.  Sure, s/he will find another job but within months it will be the same old story. Sound like you?  Are you tired of hopping from job to job?  Do you have dreams of doing more and being more? Maybe working your way up to management?  Do you feel you’re being overlooked?  Well, SPEAK UP! High-achieving Implementers know how to get the job done and make things happen – that includes creating an optimal working environment for themselves.

Frustrated Function: Aimless. Unfocused. Chronically unemployed.  This is how you describe an IFF (implementer of frustrated function). A frustrated Implementer is often without work because they’re unastisfied everywhere.  There is always something wrong with the work space.  You can offer them $1 Million to do something they do all day fro free, but because their parking space is too far from the door it’s somehow not the right fit. Brene Brown offers amazing insight into the root of this issues in one of her discussions about blame.  Upon further review, I realized that this is the epitome of every IFF’s problem. Frustrated Implementers expend all their time and energy raging, venting and blaming they have none left to actually hold any accountable – including themselves.  Frustrated Implementers spend all their time talking about what’s wrong and who made it wrong, but never assume responsibility for making it better. If this sounds like you, I urge you to learn about setting healthy boundaries.  Perhaps you, like many of your “implementing kindreds” feels amiss, worth less than your other counterparts.  If that’s true, consider making some small changes in your perspective day by day.  There’s a great book called The Two Degree Difference, which talks about how small changes can have massive effects. You may have a strong desire to change some things, but you don’t feel like you can.  Begin with you.  Changing your mind will change your life. Go for it!


So now that you know about the four personalty types, I would love to know where you find yourself on the spectrum? Are you already a visionary working at the pinnacle of productivity? Working your way up to saying what you need so you can be the first face of your company and the Implementer you were born to be?  Let me know in the comments. Until next time.

Live, Love, Laugh, Legacy –

Build It and Brand It Read More »

Visions and… Revisions

People change – so while this may be you today, tomorrow you could find that your direction differs,
along with the hurdles you’ll face and the actions you’ll need to take to overcome them.

Hello there again Legacy Leaders,

I hope you all are doing great.  We’re a little off-schedule, but we love that you’re here.

I am so glad for the week I’ve had, but there’s nothing like the weekend, am I right?  I’m looking forward to some rest and relaxation before I get back to planning and prepping for the week ahead.  It’s always great to stop and process what you’ve learned so you can streamline it into your process.  Hopefully, these posts are blessing you with that a little bit.  Stay tuned as we’ll be changing up the format a bit, to serve you even better.

We’ve been talking about clarity and consistency for a while and how it can come to help you live an abundant life. I believe those two keys are critical elements to everything else you want to achieve in life. In fact, I take the time to point out in Clarity and Consistency – Part 2, just how the two coming together enhances your chances for success.

Now, that we understand what we do about them, I think it’s time to move on to the creation process. What do we need to do to cultivate clarity and consistency in our lives and manifest success?

In my opinion, this happens in three parts:

  1. Know yourself and what you offer.
  2. Know what you need from others.
  3. Leverage your relationships (the exchange of giving what you offer and getting what you need) for mutual optimizations; think win-win.

Knowing yourself is about knowing what you were put here on this earth to do and having some idea of how you are going to do it.

purpose driven life image - fm land

Previously, I discussed four different types of people, how they interact with the world around them. I even touched a bit on how certain personality types benefit those who beat them, as well as others around them – even the world at large.  These are the Visionaries, Analysts, Builders and Implementers.

In this post, I will go into a bit more depth about Visionaries and Analysts.  In the coming weeks, we’ll discuss the Builders and Implementers.

Through it all I’ll do my best to offer insight into how you can overcome the obstacles often associated with the respective personalities to ensure that you find yourself manifesting the best for your life.

Granted, people change – so while this may be you today, tomorrow you could find that your direction differs, therefore so do your hurdles and the means you’ll need to take to overcome them.  With that said, let’s jump right in with…

The Visionary
Optimal Function: Visionaries are at their best when they are surrounded by their other three personality counterparts. Visionaries need the others if they’re actually going to get anything done.  They need Analysts to reel them in and scale back those big ideas so they can managed and achieved TODAY.  They need Builders to help them devise an actionable plan. And, of course, Implementers get the job done.  At their best, a visionary is like a body of water with many arms; they receive their pecking orders from the Source then delegate the responsibilities to the various parties; and of course there’s always backflow because Visionaries learn best from those around them.

Median Function: A Visionary is great at finding other Visionaries and Analysts. With a host of people captivated by their ideas, old and new, and to pare them down as needed, the median level Visionary feels invigorated and energized, but still gets the sense that something is missing. They know that other things need to happen in order to get their dreams off the ground, but they’re uncertain what that “something” is.  More often than not, the median level Visionary has to stop looking at “everyone else” as “them” and “they”.  Visionary at this level fare better when they understand the value everyone brings to the table; for instance, seeing Implementers as vital contributors rather than “the help”. If you’re an MLV (median level visionary), learn  to (appreciate and) play well with people different than you and you can surpass even your own grand standards of success.

Frustrated Function:  A Visionary without a vision isn’t alive. But a Visionary with a vision and no outlet for bringing it to pass… is a powder keg! Often narcissistic and entitled, the frustrated Visionary doesn’t understand why everyone else can’t see their brilliance. Their magnetism and charm will often draw folks in, only to have them pushed away just as fast with their sharp tongue and bitter wit. More often than not, the VFF (visionary of frustrate function) lashes out because of fear. Fear that she isn’t as good as she once thought; or that he isn’t as good as others have claimed him to be. If you’re a frustrated (and fearful) Visionary I urge you to spend time getting out of our head; preferably getting your hands dirty.  Garden, paint, play in clay, play with your kids, volunteer, dance naked around your house (or outside, just know your local laws about that).  I’ve found the time you spend thinking and the more you spend moving, you invite new ways to clear out the junk and let the sunshine in.

The Analyst
Optimal Function: Analysts, unlike the Visionaries, Builders and Implementers, can thrive working with one or all of their counterparts. So long as an Analyst’s opinions are respected and valued, s/he can thrive at any stage of the goal-getting game.  Analysts can help visionaries by outlining what’s working and what’s not in the overall scheme of things.  They prove useful to builders as a plan is being laid out, or even once it has been enacted.  Implementers can benefit from Analysts’ sage advice by receiving real time, quality feedback about how to make things PRACTICALLY better.  An optimal Analyst knows how to provide an honest, constructive assessment that will ensure results without making people feel picked on, put down or called out.

Median Function: At the median level, Analysts are often brimming with ideas for improving things, but lacking in tact. Median level Analysts are often considered cheeky, snarky, curt and even rude. These are the people who leave a bad taste in folks mouths not with what they say, but how they say it. While they are quick to offer a solution, their delivery is far from favorable. It’s like wrapping diamonds in a poop-filled pamper.  Sure, if you’re willing to do the work, you’ll get the gems – but you’re likely so turned off by the smell you never knew the jewels were there.  In many cases, the Analyst is right and has a sound idea of what needs to happen, but change is hard enough without complications and hurt feelings.  If you’re a median level Analyst looking to bump yourself up a notch consider enrolling in some free online communication courses or brushing up on some engaged listening techniques.

Frustrated Function: You know them well, the people who can see everything that’s wrong but never what’s right.  They have an answer (make that complaint) for everything with nary a solution in sight.  Frustrated Analysts have no filter and no boundaries. Often because they say the first thing that comes to mind, people don’t take them seriously and rarely seek their support for the one thing an Analyst wants to do more than anything – make stuff better.  My recommendation for the AFF (analyst of frustrated function) is this: Be your own project. Take classes, survey family and friends – people who’ll tell you what they really think even if you don’t like it.  Take their suggestions to heart and apply them in the field. This is what you do, you make things better – so start with you. In the meantime: Zip. Zap. Zeal. (ZIP your lips when people tell you their ideas. ZAP your thoughts onto paper. This helps when people want an immediate answer, you can read off your notes. Be ZEALOUS about making self-improvement your top priority).


Now that we know a bit about visionaries and their revisionary counterparts, the Analysts, we’ll need to look at those who help them bring it all together – the Builders and Implementers, which we will do next time.

Remember, everyone has a bit of all these in their blood so don’t be shocked if you can’t peg yourself.  You may find in our next post that you are more Builder or Implementer than either of these.  Just be sure to consider them all and see which best suits at this time in your life so you can act on it and get the most out of it.

And as always, I would love to hear where you think you fall on the spectrum and how you’re using your gifts, skills, talents and abilities to create an amazing life for you and your loved ones – and bless the world. Leave a comment below.  Until next time.

Live, Love, Laugh, Legacy…

Visions and… Revisions Read More »

To Clarity and Consistency… and Beyond!

Knowing yourself isn’t all it takes.  You also have to know what you need.
Having a grade-A team of helpers can be the difference between
a life of struggle and a life of bliss. 

We’ve been talking quite a bit about clarity and consistency these last couple weeks – what they are, why they’re important and what they look like when manifested. Now we move on to how to actually attain a life of clarity and consistency – how to have what you want so that it serves you, serves those you love and serves the world.

In Clarity and Consistency – Part 1, we noted that clarity and consistency are the result of knowing yourself – your true Self, the Self God created you to be.

It’s a bit of an oversimplification but I believe people often fall into one of four distinct archetypes: The Visionary, The Analyst, The Builder and The Implementer. Sure, we embody all these traits at any given time but knowing which is your predominant disposition can be the difference between feeling content or stagnant.

But knowing yourself isn’t all it takes.  Yes, it’s a huge part of the puzzle, but the truth is there’s more.  When you know yourself you also know what you need from those around you. Having a grade-A team of helpers can be the difference between a life of struggle and a life of sublime bliss.

So who are you, and who do you need in your corner? Let’s find out.

The Visionary
Always have a million and one ideas blooming, but can never seem to get them all done? Always thinking about how to meet an unfilled need or create things that don’t exist?  As you’re trying to manifest them, do you often get distracted by something else that seems to be related, which needs to be addressed before you can move on?  You’re a visionary.

Visionaries are often eccentric, eclectic and just plain odd – at least somewhat, and certainly to those who are closest to them.  But it’s because of visionaries that things which were once considered impossible, or science fiction, are now taken for granted.  Think television, WiFi, microwaves, airplanes, trains, cars and telephones.

The Analyst
Is it easy for you to look at something and see what works and what doesn’t? Do people often accuse you of being critical when you’re just trying to be helpful?

The Analyst and the Visionary have a lot in common in that they both see how things could be better.  But, whereas the visionary structure things from scratch, the Analyst is at home re-structures things already in place.  Not only can an Analyst tell you how to fix what isn’t working, but they can also teach you how to use what works to build a brand, expand your reach and create a legacy.

The Builder
Can you see tasks in your mind like some people see pictures? Are bullet points, flow charts and color coded spreadsheets a way of life for you? Do you believe in communicating a plan effectively in order to minimize the need for repetition? Are words like planning, project, program, short-term, outcome, and data-driven decisions part of your standard vocabulary?  Then you’re a builder.

Builders excel as project managers and quality assurance specialists. They create charts and graphs like others breathe.  It’s easy and second-nature, a means of clarifying what needs to happen, when and who’ll be responsible. Builders are the backbone of every operation. If you want to see where a company (or a family) will be in 10 years, talk to the builder.

The Implementer
Do you love puzzles? Is life a puzzle to you? Can you thrive when you have all the details? Is information a helpful resource that lets you thrive rather than a hindrance that boxes you in?  You’re an implementer.

Implementers are often referred to as worker bees, but they should not be confused with robots and drones. It is true that Implementers are the hardworking, hands-on type. But don’t be fooled. Nothing happens without this group.  Visionaries may be the ones most likely to start it, but it’s always the Implementers who finish it. Implementers are the first-faces; the ones who meet and greet your public or enact the family plan. Implementers are loyal, committed and determined – but they won’t take your guff, so be nice.

Though these categorical overviews are abridged (considerably), they can help you gain insight into who you are and therefore whom you need in your inner-circle.  And just how can this help you to create the kind of life you desire and deserve with the people you love? I’m glad you asked.

Join me next time (lol) as I discuss how these different personality types can help and hinder one another. I’ll be discussing the difference between optimal, median and frustrated functionality within your respective personality and how to get the most of your natural inclinations.

Until next time Legacy Leaders,
Akima “Queen” B.

PS – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  See yourself in any of these personality types? Did something click? Think I’m full of it?  Would love to know.  Leave a comment.

To Clarity and Consistency… and Beyond! Read More »

An Ode to a “Scary Mommy”

NOTE: This post may cause triggers of ASCI, PTSD and other forms of trauma.

Though this post strays from our recent recourse on living a clear and consistent life, it is equally necessary and timely. Therefore, I would like to share:

I am a Scary Mommy.

giphy (4)

There I said it.

I don’t mean to be. In fact, it’s often the last thing I want. Ideally, I want to be perceived as the kindly, soft-spoken den mother that still gets things done.  I want to be approachable and inviting. And if you know me, you know that I am just that…underneath my hard exterior. But most people can’t get past my exacting outer-shell.

I’m a lioness, an eagle, a mama bear. People tremble when they see me coming. Even those who love me tell me I’m intimidating and scary (not that they find me scary, but they have no problem understanding the perception). It’s not intentional. And, quite frankly, I hate it sometimes. But I have a filter problem.

My face and body will respond to things before my brain can process them.  My subconscious will send forth a knee-jerk reaction so fast I can’t stop it. Honestly, in those moments, I only ever know what’s going on because of the face across from me.

As a result, I sometimes have to do extra work when trying to de-escalate circumstances. Or go the extra mile when even though I’m the one who was offended.

This proved true yesterday while attending a function at my friend’s church. I was called into the restroom because my son had had an accident. I always carry an extra pair of clothes though my son hasn’t had a bathroom accident in over a year. I arrived in the bathroom to find my son sitting with his naked bottom in a chair, his pants and underwear on the floor, and a paper towel across his lap.

Let me take a moment here to clarify exactly what happened inside me.

I am an adult survivor of childhood incest. Though the trauma I’ve endured will forever color my world – especially around child safety – it does not control my life. I know this about myself. I know that in my subconscious undercurrents there will always be suspicion around those who tend to and care for children. My knee jerk response to those who “love being around children”, namely the ones that aren’t theirs, is to question WHY?

The only respite comes when I remember that, well, I too love children.  I appreciate their candor, their optimism. Something about seeing a kid embrace and explore their wonderment makes me feel like I can do the same. I’ve learned a lot from children about living, even before becoming a parent. Because that’s all it is for me, I have to consider that it might be the same for others.

However, my earliest childhood memory is one of being shoved in a closet at 2 1/2 and being sexually violated by a relative; someone within my inner circle who was supposed to love and care for me.  Knowing that there are also people who yearn to be near that innocence in order to prey on it, stirs me to rage.

So when I walked into that bathroom, before I could process a thing, my neck cocked back like a 9mm glock chamber and my mouth hung open while my heart danced in my foot. I felt the shift in my neck after the fact. I heard the suck of my teeth a second too late. I didn’t feel them coming. I didn’t have time to stop them. They were there.

But I knew what that was. Standing there, I’d become a helpless, two-year old girl in a closet; not the fierce ass lady boss, legacy builder I am today.

Another younger version of me rose up to protect the girl-child within. The reckless, rambunctious me who vowed to “get them before they get me” was gnashing her teeth and clawing her way out, grateful for the prospect of wrecking shop. She didn’t trust me, the grown me – the woman who’d just become invisible – to find her voice and “handle” this. So I straightened up and I blinked until my mind was clear.

My son sat, legs just-a-swinging with a full on “cheese” smile planted on his face as he waited for me. My mommy gut said, He’s still the same kid. No damage done. He’s fine. Thank God! And YOU’RE fine, too. And an adult. This is not about you. Don’t make this about you.

I could tell from the youth on the girl’s face who was helping him (which, by the way, was not the woman I’d left him with) that she didn’t know any better. But (in my Kevin Hart voice) “They were all gon’ learn today.”


Now, I say that with all the love and mother henning I can muster. Not just for my child, but for this young lady too. I had no intentions of attacking or berating her once we spoke, but rather to impart some wisdom.

giphy (3)

Granted, it was likely too late for her to believe that my intentions were anything amicable, but it didn’t matter because once I situated my son with his clothes and turned around to talk to her she was gone.

Throughout the night I attempted to find both the women – the one I’d originally left my son with and the one with whom I’d found him – and get them into one room. I wanted to know from their perspective exactly what had happened, and what prompted them to make the choices they did. Not knowing where to begin, I asked my friend to assist me (it was her church after all).

When asked to come and speak with me, they avoided me and looked at me sideways.

It was never said, but the impression I got having been on the other side of the coin a time or two (usually prompting me to leave a church) was: How dare this newcomer, enter our house of worship and say we did anything wrong?

Now, I won’t go into how they likely saw me as a tool of the devil coming in there. Or how the worst thing you could do is run from the devil in your own house (if that’s how they saw me). I won’t mention that I came to this place for more Jesus, but there was more of him in my living room than in that space. I won’t talk about the public servants’ responsibility to engage all people no matter how difficult, angry, divisive or scary you think them to be – because at the end of the day there’s still a job to be done.

giphy (2)

No, I won’t talk about that. What I will say is that that whole thing was an epic failure of child safety. And I wasn’t having that – even if it meant Scary Mommy had to come out to play.

It took a couple hours, and several zigzags through the church, but I finally found everyone (except the friend that invited me) and got to the bottom of things. I expressed my heartfelt concern not only for my son, but for this process.

giphy (1)

What if the next time it’s a little girl who – desperately needing to tell that someone has violated her but unable to tell who for fear what it will do to her family – points the finger at one of you? What if another boy, less verbal than my own, can’t tell his parents every play-by-play interaction, which compels them to unwittingly lead their child to an accusation with their line of questioning? And being alone with a naked child with your word against theirs. Why put yourself in a position like that?


giphy (1)

This time it went differently, but only because of the child and the parent. Next time, they may not be so lucky. The very fact that someone would feel okay undressing another person’s child without the parent’s consent; a child and parent they do not know. There are all manner of implications about the mindset.

Again, I think the young woman in the bathroom legitimately thought she was helping. Nonetheless, she was old enough to know better, to think twice, to question whether or not doing things the way they always do with their members would be wise to replicate with an outsider unfamiliar with their ways. But that no one else saw fit to correct her, to include me, to apologize – it spoke volumes and confirmed that she was merely emulating what she’d seen and learned.

I was visiting, as was my son. I hadn’t been instructed to leave any change of clothes, nor had I been informed of their “community clothes” practice. I was never empowered with the information that would allow me to say, I don’t want that.

Forget the fact that I was called only because there weren’t any community clothes for boys in the ladies’ restroom. Let us suppose there were. Would I have been sought out; told anything?

It stands to reason that they would’ve changed my son and I’d have been none the wiser until I got the heap of wet clothes. Correction, if I got the heap of wet clothes. God forbid there were a catastrophe and I’m providing a description of my son and the last thing he was wearing…the last thing I thought he was wearing…the clothes I’d dressed him in. I’d be WRONG!

Every step of the way I was excluded from crucial decisions about my child’s care and well-being. And the thing about it that makes the whole thing so…scary, is that the moment his sacred body was exposed wasn’t even the epic fail, it was the manifestation of all the fails that came before.

  1. My child had been entrusted to the care of a church helper (at my friend’s recommendation). The fail on my part in hindsight?
  2. Said trustee then entrusted my child to someone else. Please note that if you’re entry into the circle has only been permitted because you have been vouched for, you do NOT get to vouch for anyone else. At least not until you prove yourself. Please note that a few hours, or even days, is not enough time.
  3. The new caregiver asks my child does he know how to sit on the toilet rather than do you know how to use the toilet. To a three-year old this means, “You want me to sit on the toilet.” My son, being the kid he is, said “Sure. I can do it all by myself.” And fell in.
  4. My son was DISROBED without my knowledge or consent.
  5. My son was DISROBED because caregiver #2 was LOOKING for community clothes.
  6. Caregiver #2 doesn’t know if I’d be okay with community clothes on my son…and doesn’t know my son to know if community clothes could be hazardous to him.
  7. Caregiver #2 didn’t find any boys’ apparel in the ladies’ room community clothes bin. So now I’m sought out.
  8. After fifteen minutes of praying quietly in the bathroom, I asked for help to navigate the organizational dynamics by the only person I knew there – the one who’d invited me. She offered to find the other two and bring them where my son and I now are.
  9. I’m left waiting for quite some time.  A few folks came and chatted me up, but at this point, I have no idea what’s going on. When I look for my friend I learn something about this overwhelmed her and she’s skip out on the process. (Now whether this is because of her own internal stuff or something said to her I’m unsure. Though if it were the latter and I’d found out, it wouldn’t have been Scary Mommy that came to play. It would’ve been Serial Mom. Why? Because now I’m not only second-guessing the judgment, but also the character of someone left alone with my half-naked child! Hence, why I think I never got the answer. Because it wasn’t necessary for the process.)
  10. Folks are now talking about whatever was said, perceived or construed but I’m still not part of this conversation.
  11. Wait, people other than those directly involved are talking about this!

giphy (5)

Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail.

Here I was a parent, fending off traumatic reverberation, praying my Mommy Gut is right, in a place I don’t know with people I don’t know trying to navigate a situation no parent ever wants to face. And I have to be the voice of reason. I have to be the peacekeeper. Here I am, in my moments of hurt – because there were so many right then – having to be the one to say “all is well.”

Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail. FAIL!

I felt violated – all over again. Here I am in a house of worship with other believers and not one person took the humble route.  Not one elder, leader or person said, “Hey are you and your son alright?”  No one said, “I’m so sorry you went through this. That could’ve gone very differently.” What if I hadn’t stopped myself in the bathroom? What if my tyrannical teenage vigilante had won the fight? What if my son had seen me physically assault another human being? At no point did anyone else emulate Christ, why would I? (That’s a rhetorical question).

If I were following their lead, there’s no telling where the night would’ve went. And believe me it was a struggle not to.  But I wouldn’t allow myself to go there.

Though, for the sake of argument, let’s say I was being a hellion. Isn’t that even more reason for you to love the hell out of me? But I wasn’t being a hellion, I was being a mom. And not even a Scary Mom…okay, not intentionally. We established that.

Add to that I was abandoned in my moment of need. My friend, unable to help, never called in a proxy.  At every turn everyone made it about them, but not one of them made it about the child.

My son knows about his sacred body and private places. He knows that no one is to touch him there. And he knows not to believe that someone will hurt his mommy or his dog or whatever because his mommy is a touch off. (We’ve discussed it but he’s never seen it. And I pray he won’t have to before his teen years).

It’s because of what we had in place before this momet that I believed my son in this moment.  I believe he told me the truth because he knew he had nothing to fear in doing so.  He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that his mommy would do everything earthly (and heavenly) possible to protect him…or avenge him.

But nonetheless, I still felt put in a victimized space. It was a double indemnity – someone does something inappropriate and when you say something you’re looked at as a troublemaker. And just to be clear, I’m referring specifically to my son’s partial nudity, not implying that something happened while he was half-nude. But nonetheless, the process is the same.  Once something has been said, rather than look at the person, the process or the organizational dynamic in which this kind of thing could thrive, you’re instead told to keep quiet. Go along to get along and all will be well.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

giphy (6)

I said something last night. And I’m saying something today. And I’ll continue to say something every day. Not always about this, or even about topics like this, but always for those who feel disenfranchised and lacking a voice.  And always for those who can’t do it for themselves (for one reason or another).  Always! Even if it means being a little (or even a lot) scary!

giphy (7)

It’s likely I won’t be invited back to that church. And I don’t foresee volunteering to visit anytime soon. But I’m fine with that.  If people there think I’m scary, intimidating and spawned from the devil it makes me no never mind, as the elders used to say, because I sowed a seed.  Even if they decide to take all the same action in the future, they’ll think about that mom that came once.  If it happens to bite them in the butt (pun not intended, but accurate) then they’ll really think about that boy that one time.

In the end, I think I did a pretty good of getting my point across. I even think I was pretty sweet considering the circumstances. Some might say I didn’t do enough.

The one thing I can say, I will always – every single time – choose Scary Mommy over the invisible little girl or the twisted teen. If it means the difference between my son’s safety/well-being and his potential pain then so be it.

If that makes me a Scary Mommy then… be afraid, be very afraid.


Until next time Legacy Leaders!

Your sister in the “Scary” struggle,

PS – I know we’re a little off-topic now, but I would still love to hear from you.  I always want to know what’s on your minds.  Have you, or your spouse/partner, ever found yourself in a situation similar the one described above? What’d you do? Had a different kind of  moment where you had to balance your inner-“Scary”? How’d you do? Do you call it something else?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

An Ode to a “Scary Mommy” Read More »

Clarity and Consistency – Part 2

“We can’t be anything we want.  We were put here for a reason and it’s our job to discover what that is and become it.”

-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

When we are clear about our intentions… we understand that undertaking [manifesting that intention] is directly aligned to fulfilling our purpose.

Hey there Legacy Leaders,

Good to have you back.  I missed you.  Hope you had a great last week.  I am looking forward to the one ahead.

If you are just joining us, I’ve been spending some time talking about clarity and consistency. This is the third installment in the discussion, which I believe lays the foundation for much of my work.

Clarity and consistency in my opinion are critical to success – whether individual, organizational, communal, social, or global.  Without clarity and consistency, I don’t think we can achieve harmony and balance, or thrive as a people.

Previously, I noted the importance of clarity and consistency in helping us stay on track with our goals.  Then I noted how we can go about gaining clarity.  Today, I want to talk about consistency.

As I noted in Clarity and Consistency – Part 1, you can have clarity without consistency but you cannot be consistent if you aren’t clear.  Essentially, this is because when we are clear about our intentions and our direction, we have not only made up our minds about what we want to do but we understand that undertaking this task is directly aligned to fulfilling our purpose.

Whereas many people think that consistency is hard, it is actually clarity that is harder to attain.  Once you are clear consistency becomes easy.  Allow me to show you what I mean.

Florence Scoven Shinn, author of The Game of Life and How to Play It, suggests that there are four pillars upon which every human being builds his or her life: health, wealth, love and perfect self-expression.  She insists that in order for people to feel fulfilled in their lives, they must achieve harmony all four of these areas.  If and when this balance is achieved, it is called Four Square Harmony.

In my work, I teach people based on these four pillars; the last of which I split into passion and purpose to help simplify the ways in which we often express ourselves.

Let’s suppose you are someone who is clear in your intentions and have decided that you are ready to embark on the journey of achieving your goal, you will now need to be consistent.

For many of us, it’s getting our bodies into better shape, so I’ll go with that. If you haven’t made up your mind, then you are likely to yo-yo between good and bad habits for a while – perhaps indefinitely.  Without clarity, you are bound to find excuses, um, I mean reasons, why things aren’t working.

A made-up mind is different. When you gain clarity on your health, and how optimal health (for you) can enhance your ability to complete your mission and fulfill your life’s purpose, you won’t give up.  Notice, I didn’t say you’ll get everything perfect – but you will keep trying. You will get back on the horse, and you will begin to take note of what isn’t working and supplement it with thoughts, deeds and interactions that better serve you.

You want to make more money, start your own business, get out of debt, or pay off those students loans?  Maybe you want to do all of the above.  When you’re unclear, you self-sabotage.  You overspend or under-charge and you NEVER ask for what you’re worth.

Clarity will knock all of that out the door.  You may not know exactly how to do what you want, but you’ll begin to seek out those who do.  You’ll ask for help and heed the advice you’re given. The choices you make may be different from the ones you’re used to, but they fuel you and fulfill you.  In time – and usually a very short time – you start to feel much better about what you’re doing because you see how financial wisdom can only strengthen your progress. It’s not about how much you have, but how well you handle it.

LOVE (This one is my favorite)
Being unclear in love often results in stifled relationships – romantic, platonic, professional, familial and so on. Interestingly enough, though, it stems from a lack of self-like. When you are unclear about who you are and why you’re here, it’s likely that you won’t like yourself.  You blame yourself for your lack of innovation and ingenuity.  All you want is to be meaningful and useful, to do…something.  The thing about self-like, though most of us would hate to admit it, is that it tends to come from external validation.

Clarity in love means understanding that there is always a Source of external love and validation giving you a reason to like yourself. And when you like yourself you realize just how interesting and innovative you are, which gives you the freedom to continue being so. You find yourself being consistently grateful, hopeful, optimistic, jovial, and LOVING. Suddenly, it seems like the more you give the more you have to give. The more you give the better you feel, which makes you want to give more. Soon, you are in a consistent state of giving and feeling good about giving because – in your state of clarity – you know that you are always receiving.

Without a basic understanding of what makes you tick, you can find yourself doing things that make you feel good, or make other people feel good, or make other people feel good about you even though you feel miserable.  Some of us will even excel at these things.  We’ll do things we’re great at, but rather than feel like a superstar you’ll feel super-stagnant.  You become resentful and uncertain. If I’m this good it must be a gift, I must be meant to do this. So why I am so tired and restless…and bored?

With clarity comes capacity. You see things differently and you understand that just because you’re good – or even great – at something, doesn’t mean you’re meant to do it.  Instead, you become determined to set aside time to do what feeds your soul.  As you become clearer, you’ll become protective of your time, space and energy.  You’ll be more selective about those you hang around – sure to exclude those who sap your energy or refuse to accept the new direction your life is taking. Little by little, you will commit yourself to exploring your passions and fulfilling your purpose.  It might be a business, a ministry, a blog. Regardless of how you do it, you won’t let too much time pass without making it part of your life because you know now that it isn’t just about you.  You become consistently consistent. 😉

So, you see, clarity and consistency truly are the foundations for a life of love and legacy.  No matter what you’re going to do, the first then is to get clear. Then enact your plan and be consistent.

I’d love to hear from you. Are you already living a life of clarity and consistency?  Are you just getting started? Leave your comments below.

Until soon Legacy Leaders,

Clarity and Consistency – Part 2 Read More »

Clarity and Consistency – Part 1

Where clarity gives you the foresight to see the final destination,
consistency gives you the wherewithal to make the trip.

Hello again Legacy Leaders,

Hope you’ve had a great week thus far. The last time we were together I talked a bit about how to stay focused on your goals…period.  I mentioned that we need to work smarter, not harder, by being clear and consistent.

What I did not discuss, however, was how to get clear and how to be consistent. So that’s where I’ll pick up today. In order to speak about gaining clarity in our choices, I must first speak a bit about what drives many of us – those of us reading this anyway – when making these choices: our legacies.

When building a legacy, we so often think about tomorrow that we put little focus on today.  We don’t take the time to really understand our choices or enjoy them. It isn’t uncommon for legacy builders to get so inundated with the task of creating a life for those we love, that we forget to live.

This doesn’t happen (as often) when you’re clear.

Clarity affords you the opportunity to not only leverage opportunities that bless your future and the future of your loved ones, but to also enjoy the present.  When done right, as you become accustomed to living in space of clarity, yesterday’s fulfilling choices manifest into today’s fulfilling outcomes, which in turn allow you to make fulfilling choices today that will become the fulfilling outcomes of tomorrow.

And just how do you get to such a state of clarity? It sounds silly, but “know thy self.”

I’m not talking about new age, psycho-phenomenal, humanistic way.  What I’m talking about comes from a deep, spiritual insight that can only come from connection with a greater being outside yourself.  I’m talking about knowing who are you and why you’re here; not because you decided but because you realigned with the innate, God-given purpose you were put here for.

As Steven Pressfield said in his book, The War of Art, “We can’t be anything we want.  We were put here for a reason and it’s our job to discover what that is and become it.”  That is clarity baby!

You can’t achieve clarity if you’re always immersed in the busy-ness of life. Clarity comes with turning off the television, putting down the tablet, silencing the phones and doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.

If you have never taken the time to sit still and just be, I urge you to try it.  I’m not talking hours or even a fifteen minute stretch.  If you can get five minutes of alone time before the kids wake up or after they’ve gone to bed, go for it.  Maybe you and your spouse can take a moment to do this together or even apart but at the same time. Later, you can discuss what you each discovered – or not.  It’s up to you.  The important thing is just to do it.  Once you start, you’d be amazed at how much time you can find to continue.

You need clarity.  We all need clarity.  We all want to be useful contributors to society.  There isn’t a personal alive who isn’t fighting to be more.  Even those who commit the most detestable and heinous of acts, when sat before a psychoanalyst worth their wright in salt, speak of some dream deferred that left them so hurt the only viable option seemed to be hurting others.

This is why we must be clear; because hurt people hurt people.  If we want our children to grow up to be whole, happy, healthy adults we must show them what that looks like.  We must take the time to be whole, happy and healthy.  If we want them to use our lives as a springboard and stepping stone for greatness, we must get past the first rung.

That requires clarity.

When you know who are you and what you are made for, you understand what works for you and what doesn’t. When you are clear about your purpose it will deter you from expending your energies on things that are not meant for you, no matter how superb you might be at performing them.  You’ll steer clear of what Gay Hendricks would call your Zone of Excellence, and  start operating in your sweet spot, your place of purpose.

Clarity breeds consistency. Where clarity gives you the foresight to see the final destination, consistency gives you the wherewithal to make the trip.  Once you know where you want to go, you make up your mind to get there.  If you’re still struggling with clarity, chances are you still haven’t gotten clear.

When you’re clear, you prioritize your actions.  You do those things that give you the most return for your investment – whether that investment is time, energy or money. You’re careful to stay committed to achieving the invisible, not-yet-manifested goal regardless of how things may look right now. This is consistency.  And though you can have clarity without consistency, you can’t have consistency without clarity.

So, now that I’ve belabored the importance of getting clear, how to do it and all its benefits, just how exactly do we create consistency?  I’m glad you asked.  I’ll talk more about that next time in Clarity and Consistency – Part 2.

Of course, I’d love to hear from you before then. Where are you on your journey? Been at this a while?  Just starting out? Let me know in the comments.

Until soon Legacy Leaders,

Clarity and Consistency – Part 1 Read More »

Getting to the goal

Some people think that planning is the same as preparing, but the truth is if you invest in a poor plan you’re still wasting your time. Being clear in your objectives and knowing what you want, then taking the necessary steps to manifest that desire is the epitome of working smarter and not harder.

We all want things out of life.

Some want basics like food, shelter, and clothing.  Others want an abundance, more than enough…overflow.  Some of us want to make more money or build better relationships, Others still are dreaming of new experiences or how to relate differently to the world in which we live.

In these scenarios, there’s usually that someone we talk to about what we’re thinking. Some of us will even talk to…I mean think aloud to ourselves about what we could be improved and how we could improve it. Unfortunately, we can become so accustomed to talking about it that we place no real focus on learning how to manifest these dreams. Or worse, we know everything we need to but, for whatever barrage of reasons, never take the action that ensures their fruition.

And it isn’t intentional.  Right?  Who sits around thinking, “I don’t actually want to be successful. Note even in the least. I don’t want to be fulfilled”? Who? “I have no issue with this constant yearning for more; this need to be meaningful and feel like I’m contributing my best to the world around me,” #saidnooneever. Well, at least no one I know.

We all want to feel full; to live life and not just watch it pass us by.  This became especially true for me after becoming a parent. When I speak to new parents, it’s often the same.  It is now very crucial to figure out just how to do be the best version of yourself.  Not because you want to be the perfect person or the perfect parent, but because you now understand that giving your child an example is so much better than the best advice.

Being your best will have unspeakable rewards for your life, it’s true – but there’s something about knowing that being wholly and unapologetically you will help them do just the same.

Be honest, would you rather listen to the person who has some great theories for creating the kind of life you’ve always dreamed of living but has never achieved it for herself, or would you rather follow in the footsteps of someone who’s actually done it? Most people would say they want the tried and true example; someone who can tell them how to avoid pitfalls and leverage opportunities.

The problem, though, is that even after you find someone who’s done what you want to do and can offer some guidelines for how to create the kinds of things you’ve always wanted to see in your life, there’s no guarantee that a) you will have the same kinds of outcomes and b) that you will want those things once you have them.  But I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

You can avoid expending all your time, energy and joy trying to achieve success only to discover you don’t want that version of success once you have it – or worse, never see it in the first place.  You’re only required to contribute two things: clarity and consistency.

Clarity and consistency can save you quite a bit of heartache. Being clear in your objectives and knowing what you want, then taking the necessary steps to manifest that desire is the epitome of working smarter and not harder.

Abe Lincoln is famous for having said, “If you tell me I have six hours to chop down a tree, I’ll spend the first six sharpening my ax.”  He was referring to the importance of preparation.   Some people think that planning is the same as preparing, but the truth is if you invest in a poor plan you’re still wasting your time.

The best way to prepare is to know your destination, and you can’t know where you are going unless you’re clear.

Granted, sometimes the beauty of the journey is in the route traveled, but even the most scenic route can become a complication if you don’t know where you’re headed.  I’m all for “getting lost” on occasion, taking a random turn just to see what’s down the road – but when building your life (and your legacy) you want to avoid random turns at all costs.

Now, I’m not referring to life’s detours – those unexpected  twists and turns you’ll have to navigate along the way. I’m talking about moments of seemingly harmless passivity that masquerade as “going with the flow” and “just trying some things out”, which in truth are self-induced sabotage and deprecation.  If you’re on vacation and want to give some things a shot…hey, go for it.  But not when you’re trying to build a solid life – to create something for the special someone or someones in your life – you need to be clear and consistent. Period.

So just what do clarity and consistency look like? I’m glad you asked.

I’ll tell you next time.   😉

Until soon Legacy Leaders!

Your Lady Boss, Legacy Builder, Mommy Maverick, Sister Friend –

Getting to the goal Read More »