Are you preparing for your opportunity?

American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 20, 2021. Patrick Semansky/Pool via REUTERS

Over the last two weeks, we have witnessed some major events in history.  We witnessed; the first female being sworn in as the Vice President of the United States.  Congratulations Vice President, Kamala Harris.  As I was celebrating the Vice President, those of us watching the inauguration, were introduced to a new star, a female poet by the name of Amanda Gorman.   Amanda Gorman, 22, performed an original poem, entitled, “The Hill We Climb”.   In her poem, she called for healing and unity, and celebrated the diversity of our Nation.  She also challenged us to rise to the occasion and live up to our highest ideals.

Amanda’s performance, and the depth of her words, has led to new opportunities.  She has recently signed a modeling contract with IMG Models, and she is scheduled to recite a poem at the upcoming Superbowl.  Her outstanding performance has caused the presale of her recent book to rise to #1 on Amazon, and now her other books have gained attention.

Amanda was ready for her opportunity, which has led to future opportunities.  If you heard Amanda share her story, it was not without struggle and obstacles.   She however did not let that stop her. 

For myself, last week, I had the opportunity to present my research on animated videos and storytelling at the Association of American Colleges and Universities annual conference.  Over the years, I have given many speeches and presentations.  However, this was a new one for me, sharing the stage with my Academic peers.  Since I have given the presentation, I have now been asked to share my research in Academic Journals, and to other educational institutions.  This has opened a new door for me.   

As I thought about Amanda Gorman, and myself, I was reminded that we must be ready for our opportunities.  We never know when a new opportunity will present itself.  Therefore, I want to ask you a few questions. “What are you doing to prefect your gift?”  “Are you allowing the negativity of others to block you?”  And finally, “Are you making sure that when opportunity knocks, you are ready?”

As individuals we will all have to settle these questions, as we pursue the achievement of our dreams.   The path is not always easy, and the work is hard, but it is our commitment, and being ready for our opportunity, that prepares us for that open door.

Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

Smart Goals for 2021

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hello Everyone, as you are moving through 2021, I wanted to share excerpts from a video I released last week on the Smart Goal Principle.   SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.  

Statistics show that many people will create new year’s resolutions in 2021, but by February, the resolutions will be forgotten.   The Smart goal principle will allow you to clearly communicate, document, and monitor, exactly what you want to achieve this year.  

The first thing you want to do, is to make sure your goals are specific.  A specific goal answers the question of who, what, where, when, and why.  

The second step requires you to measure your goal, thus a measurable goal allows you to track your progress and measure your success. 

The third step in the process is to identify goals that are achievable.  An achievable goal helps you determine if the goal is within your reach.

The fourth step in the process, requires you to create relevant goals.  Relevant goals connect to your larger objectives in life.   The goals are usually stepping stones to something larger you are trying to achieve.

Finally, your goals must be timely.  A timely goal has a deadline attached to it.  When you set a time limit on your goals, you can monitor your progress and stay on track for completing the goal.

By using the smart goal principle, you can construct goals that support your career, health, finances, relationships, and your personal growth this year.  This formula will also ensure that you create effective goals that produce the desired results.

As you prepare for 2021, set good goals and strategies for yourself.   Take what you learned in 2020 and use it in 2021.   With a little determination and perseverance, your success is guaranteed.

Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

Planting Seeds for Success

person holding a green plant
Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

 

The year of 2020 has truly become a year for the history books.   We have experienced massive unemployment, the significant loss of life, business closures, and thousands of zoom meetings.  We are now wearing face masks, using hand sanitizer, and the term social distancing has taken on a whole new meaning.     However, during this crisis, I noticed that people are still finding success.    Hair salons are now selling PPE products. Bar owners have now converted their business to producing hand sanitizer.  Restaurants and stores are now offering curbside service.

Day to day business is now being conducted through virtual conferencing and facetime phone meetings.    Americans are buying sewing machines and producing cloth masks that are now being sold on Etsy and Amazon.  Faith Leaders have discovered how to expand their reach, using Facebook Live, weekly conference calls, and online giving platforms.  Doctors are now conducting virtual meetings with their patients while providing medical care.  They discovered new technology, which provided new opportunities.

Therefore, as we continue to manage the current crisis, I want to encourage anyone who feels overwhelmed, defeated, or just feels like giving up to hold on.   This is not the time to quit.  This is the time to plant your seeds for success.   When you think about the concept of planting seeds, you are planting something that is not expected to grow right away.   Your seed will experience an incubation period where you will have to water it, and nurture it to ensure its future success.   Soon the seed will bloom, and your harvest will manifest.   What you plant now, will determine what will grow up later.

As we continue to work through this crisis, what seeds can you plant, that you will nurture and help grow?   What new business idea can you cultivate now, that will become a Fortune 500 in the future?   What new book project will you nurture now, that will become a best seller next year?  What new business relationship will you water now, that will provide the resources for your next big deal?   You must also question yourself through your interpersonal lens.  Will you plant the seeds of fear or hope?   Will you plant the seeds of confidence, or failure?   And finally, will you plant the seeds of love or hate?  Anything can grow, it just depends on what you plant.   Every day, we all have the opportunity, to plant seeds of success with our actions and our words.

As we head into the final few months of this year, this is a great time to plant good seeds.   They may not grow right away, but with a little patience and a little nurturing, you can create a future harvest that will bless you, your family and those who will be blessed by your renewed spirit and winning attitude.  As I close, I heard it said once, that the only people that are happy when it rains, are those people who have seed in the ground.  So, go out, plant your seeds and grow something great.

Dr.  Regina Banks-Hall

 

Twin Power

By Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

Hello Everyone,

Today, I want to talk about motivation and goal achievement. I was watching a video posted by CBS News of two little girls in Savannah, Georgia, who set up a lemonade stand, and called it “Twinmonade.” Soon after, someone questioned whether they had a permit to sell lemonade. This could have been a source of discouragement, yet the young twins soldiered on, secured the needed permit, and marched forward.

After overcoming early head winds, business is now booming, as long lines of people form to support and enjoy a cold cup of their multi-flavored lemonade. Here is a link to their story. https://www.cbsnews.com/video/7-year-old-twins-reopen-successful-lemonade-stand-after-questions-about-permit/

I believe there is a lesson here for all of us. In life we are going to encounter setbacks. The pandemic has been hard to navigate, yet we can still find victory as it relates to our goals, if we hold onto our dreams.

We must take on the attitude of these twins, and press forward. I have been working on a animated character of myself for a educational series I will be creating over the summer. Today I am releasing my first video on motivation in this new format. I did not give up on my goals, but stayed focused to make sure this character was created. Now I am ready to create my educational series, which will cover Leadership, Motivation, Human Resource Management and Small business success. Stay tuned for more ways to subscribe to my training videos and workshops.

I am inspired by these twins, and I know that with faith and hard work, we can achieve our dreams. What lesson can you learn from these twins today?

Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

Embrace Life

Today, I want to talk about embracing life.  A couple weeks ago, I was meeting with someone who wants to start a business.  They believed that life was over for them, because of their race, gender, knowledge and education.  They spent a lot of time comparing themselves to others.  I began to share with them the importance of identifying their gifts, loving who they were, using all their resources and embracing life.

I realize that as people, we often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. We suppress our gifts, and allow others to make us feel inferior, because of our gender, race, education, size, etc. When we allow all the negatives to lead our lives, we limit our potential. In celebrating black history month, I was reminded of a quote by one of my favorite motivational speakers, the late Dr. Myles Munroe. He stated that the greatest tragedy in life, was living without a purpose. Dr. Munroe also stated that the wealthiest place on earth was the cemetery, because within the cemetery lies companies never created, inventions never made, books never written, masterpieces never painted, and music never recorded. The cemetery represented untapped potential and gifts unused.

When we embrace life, we must come face to face with our dreams, fears, successes, failures, setbacks, and our challenges. How we handle this confrontation, can open the door to our potential or derail us for life.  Therefore, I have several recommendations I want you to incorporate in 2020 so you can embrace life and unlock your potential.

#1. The first thing you must do is Embrace your dreams. As a future business owner, writer, professor, mayor, minster etc, you must embrace your dreams.  In order to do this, you must believe that dreams come true.  I will always remember my dream of writing a book, becoming a college professor, earning a doctorate degree, becoming a motivational speaker, and starting a family business.  I remember some people telling me that was a lot to accomplish.  I knew they did not believe it was possible.  However, I kept my dreams in front of me, because they were my dreams.  Today, I can say that I have accomplished them all, and now I am rewriting my story, because I discovered that I have more yet to achieve.

#2. You must let go of fear.  When you let go of fear, you allow yourself to receive the blessings that life has to offer.  For me to move forward I had to overcome the fear of failing.  I knew that failure was not final, because I could start over.  This is important,
when changing careers, leaving a terrible job, or starting a business.  It is important for you to let go of doubt and self -judgement.

#3. Step outside your comfort zone. Sometimes you must take small steps towards your dreams. This may require traveling into areas uncharted or new.  I began my journey into publishing by writing my first chapter in an anthology.  I had never done anything like this before.  Today, I have contributed to 6 anthologies, released my own solo project, and I am on track to release two additional books this year.  However, my finest achievement was becoming a professor, and now interim dean.  For me to achieve both, I had to step outside my comfort zone.  I had to push myself into areas unknown and take a chance on myself.

#4. Become resilient.  Sometimes in life, you will get knocked down. In these times, you must pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going.  I remember my layoff from Chrysler, I thought the world was coming to an end.  One day while taking care of my father-in-law, I discovered by coaching and teaching ability.  It was in that layoff that I discovered my purpose.  Sometimes, your setback is nothing more than a setup, that leads you to your destiny.

#5. Find a cause that brings you joy. While discovering my purpose, I found Toastmasters, and learned how to improve my public speaking skills.  I found the joy of passing out beads during Thanksgiving, by marching in the Michigan Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I never knew a strand of beads could bring so many people joy.  Finally, I learned through taking care of my father-in-law the importance of finding services for seniors and those with disabilities.

#6. Evaluate your inner circle.  One of the most important strategies I have used in life is protecting my inner circle.  I shared this in a speech I gave a couple years ago, the impact of starters and bench players.  Starters are those individuals who honor the best in you. They support your gifts, and give you feedback to move you forward.  They know that for you to make a friend you must be a friend, so they introduce you to others who will help you.  No matter where you are in life, they always have your back.

Bench players, on the other hand, want to be there for the ride. They like you, but not for who you are, but for what you have.  They constantly bring negativity to every idea you have.  Yet, when it works, they are the first to want to get on board.  Its so interesting watching them try to convince you that they were always in your corner.  Therefore, as you build your inner circle, be thankful for the people that serve you with their knowledge, support, love and kindness.  Also, never miss the opportunity to pour back into their lives, the love and support that you have received.

#7. Finally, you must live your life, and not the life others are creating for you. As a person of faith, I connect to my source daily, so I can live a joyful and passionate life.  I feed my mind positive quotes and words of motivation from people like Dr. Myles Monroe, Joel Osteen, Beth Moore, John Maxwell, and my husband.  I have realized that my passions and my goals have inspired me to embrace all that life has to offer. Therefore, my 2020 vision is off the charts, and I know those dreams will come true.

Now its up to you. Will you follow your dreams? Will you release the fear, and step outside of your comfort zone? Will you pick yourself up after a fall? Will you embrace life and untap your potential? I believe that you can, and I believe that you will. Most of all, I believe that your 2020 vision will come true. Never settle for anything less.

Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

 

Fall Forward Your Purpose Is Waiting for You – Book Promotion

In this book, I share my personal story of overcoming grief, and self-sabatoge. I did not realize I was falling into my purpose.

$10.00

Strive

23961r

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

During the month of February, we honor notable African Americans.  Today, I want to talk about Booker T. Washington and the concept of striving.  Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was born into slavery and rose to become a leading African American intellectual of the 19th century.  He was one of the founders of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, renamed Tuskegee University in 1881. He also founded, the National Negro Business League.

After the civil war, his family relocated to Malden, West Virginia.  His mother later remarried and then took on the last name of his stepfather.  Booker had to work and was only allowed to go to school after his morning shift.

He learned about the Hampton Institute, a school for former slaves, and would walk 500 miles to Hampton, where he excelled.  He went on to study at Wayland Seminary in Washington, D.C., but after impressing Brigadier General Samuel Chapman, he was invited to return to Hampton as a teacher in 1879.

Booker would go on to be an advisor to multiple U.S. Presidents, and was a dominant leader in the African American community and of the contemporary black elite.  Booker became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants who were oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws.
Booker’s life was not without challenges. He found himself at odds with other negro leaders, over the issue of racial equality for African Americans.  He called for black progress through education and entrepreneurship, while others sought to fight the laws of Jim Crow directly. He remained a leader and figurehead at Tuskegee University until his death.

Booker’s story is important, because he shows us that we must all strive to survive.  And we must also strive to thrive.  Life is not easy, it is filled with challenges, failures and setbacks. In most cases, only those who are determined to press through the challenges and setbacks overcome their adversity.

Many people created dreams and visions for 2020 and may have already given up because of a challenge or a setback.  However, in order to achieve your dreams, you must push through the adversity and get to the other side. Nothing that is worth something comes easy.  It is when you are challenged the most, that you must push the hardest.
Remember this quote by Booker T. Washington. “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”

Strive to survive and strive to thrive in 2020.
Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

Maximize Your Gifts, to Maximize Your Dreams

Martin Luther March on Washington
Leffler, W. K., photographer. (1963) Martin Luther King with leaders at the March on Washington. Washington D.C, 1963. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2013649720/.

Today, we are celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929.  In December of 1955 when he was a young minister, he got involved in the Montgomery, Alabama citywide bus boycott. At the beginning of the 1960s he used his voice and his talent to galvanize individuals to speak out against segregation. In his famous  ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech, he laid out a vision for a better world.  He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis Tennessee, where he was there supporting striking sanitation workers.

As I thought about Dr. King, I thought about how he maximized his gifts.  He used his voice, and his ability to champion his cause.  He suffered criticism, was beaten, and jailed for believing in his dream.  However, he pushed through despite the challenges. His willingness to utilize his gifts, has become a blessing to us all.

As you celebrate him today, I want you to think about your gifts.  Are you maximizing your potential? Are you using your speaking skills, writing skills, and music ability? Are you being the Change Agent you always knew you could be, or are you letting others define your destiny?  Recognizing your gifts is tough and maximizing them is even harder.  But just like Dr. King, you must maximize your gifts, so you can maximize your dreams.  Remember, when you maximize your dream, it can be the blessing that the world is waiting for.

As I close, I leave you with this challenge.  Let go of negativity and say no to fear.  Start by putting one foot in front of the other, maximize your gifts, and follow your dreams.  I believe that 2020 can be the year, where dreams come true.
Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

Be A Bridge

bridge-1385938_1920
Bridges are structures designed to cross an open space or gap.  When most people think of bridges, they think of crossing a body of water, valley, or road without hindering what’s underneath the bridge.  The bridge is designed for providing a passage over the obstacle, which is often difficult to cross.  Some bridges are unique because a pathway has been provided for you to walk alongside the bridge in order to get to the other side. Finally, bridges serve a particular purpose and are designed by bridge builders for different situations.

The concept of the bridge is very important when you think of people.  As I begin to narrow my 2020 vision, I want to focus on how we can become bridges of society.  As a bridge builder, we can use our knowledge, skills, and abilities to help bring people together.  When we become the bridge builder, we can often become the catalyst that introduces opportunities and learning experiences to others, allowing them to find and use their gifts.  We have all heard the saying, “Be the bridge.” Well, today is a great time to start.

If there were no bridge builders, many people would never know what is on the other side of the river, lake, stream, valley or ocean.  In other words, without bridge builders, so many people would never know what they could have become.  Remember, when we share our experiences, education, testimonies, wisdom, resources, stories, advice, connections, and gifts, we become a bridge of opportunity, possibility, and vision for those who have never seen what is on the other side.

So, I am challenging you for the year 2020.  Don’t be a wall, a border, or a blockade. Instead, be a bridge builder and usher someone over to a bright new future.

Dr.  Regina Banks-Hall

Look Beyond the Wall

man in blue suit
Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery on Pexels.com

Hello Everyone

Today is January 6th, and many of us, my self-included, have created goals that we want to accomplish for the year. As you begin to create goals for yourself, and think about how you will impact 2020, one area that I want you to focus on is looking beyond where you are. Often when I conduct vision board or leadership workshops, or do motivational speaking, I share with my audience the importance of looking beyond what is in front of them.

You may be saying to yourself, why is this important? Often as individuals we become accustomed to the status quo. We expect nothing better. We buy into other people’s comments about our abilities. We sometimes overlook the notion that they are afraid of what we might become, so they plant negative seeds. Finally, we hold back our dream, because we are waiting for someone to validate our ideas instead of moving forward with our vision.

In order to grow and truly live out your purpose in 2020, it will be important for you to look beyond what is in front of you. It is important for you to visualize success. There is no limitation to your success, there is only the limitation to your vision.
Today, find the courage to venture out. This venture can lead to a new promotion, a new book, or a business opportunity. For years, I had a dream of becoming an author, professor, life coach, and motivational speaker. Yes, I wanted it all. I knew the odds were stacked against me, because I knew there were people who did not want me to succeed. However, I was willing to look beyond what was in front of me, because what I saw was people standing in my way.

I began to change my attitude and my inner circle. I began to put action behind those goals by writing the book, becoming a motivational speaker, coaching others to success, and my favorite of all, becoming a college professor. I held onto the faith I had, that I could do it. I realized that the purpose of my goals was bigger than me. These goals were associated with helping others see that, if I could do it, so could they. But most importantly, I held onto my faith in God, knowing that he had a plan for my life.

As we begin to move throughout this year, and you begin to formalize your goals, think about how your desire to change your story can affect your community, your family, your church, or your organization. Do not sit back and accept the status quo. Instead, step up and accept the challenge of looking beyond the wall. Realize that today can be the day that changes everything.

Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

Don’t Bury Your Talents in 2020

street-artist-1279977_1280
Well, today is the final day of this year.  As part of my own goal planning process, I conducted my 2019 year in review.  I checked off my accomplishments and reprioritized my goals for 2020.

Like many people, I worked through some challenges in 2019.  But through it all, I will enter 2020 renewed and ready to use my gifts and talents in this year.  As you evaluate your 2019, reflect, evaluate, and celebrate your story.  Remember that your failures or setbacks do not define you, because you still have a chance to rewrite your own story.

I want to remind everyone of an important biblical story.  In a biblical passage, a Master gives his servants several talents, according to their ability.  He then plans to take a journey but vows to return.  The Master gave one servant five talents, which the servant doubled.  The next servant was given two talents.  He did the same.  The last servant was given one talent and he buried it in the dirt.  This servant, in his mind, played it safe.  He was afraid of the unknown, or possibly lazy, so he buried his talent.  The servant expected his Master to be thankful for protecting the talent.  When the Master returned, he congratulated the first two servants for their diligence.  But with the third servant, he was infuriated and dealt with him harshly.  The key point in this story, is that we have all been given a portion of talent or ability.  However, it is what we do with it that counts.  Do we multiply it, or do we bury it?

As you enter 2020, know that it is okay to step outside your comfort zone.  In order to change the world and leave a lasting impact, it requires that you take a risk on yourself. Do not be like the servant in the passage and bury your talents.  When we bury our talents, we hold back solutions, knowledge, skills, innovation, and creativity.  We literally rob the world from utilizing and benefiting from our giftedness.

As a professor, author, speaker, coach, and leadership expert, my goal for 2020 is to convince you not to bury your gifts.  Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year, start the year off in grand fashion by utilizing your God given gifts and talents.

Join “Dr. Regina’s World” by following me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube and let’s start using our gifts together.

From my family to yours, I wish you a healthy, successful, and prosperous New Year.

Dr. Regina Banks-Hall