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

 

Passing the Torch

United States House of Representatives / Public domain

I was saddened by the recent passing of Congressman John Lewis.  Congressman Lewis was an important figure because he dedicated his life to fighting for justice and equality at a time when this was not a reality for African Americans. Congressman Lewis began his work as a civil rights activist when he was a college student.  He was one of the original freedom riders, who organized sit-ins and led the March 7, 1965 civil rights march that was supposed to go from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama, the state’s Capitol. 

In his fight for justice he was jailed over 30 times and beaten unjustly, however he remained a champion for equal rights and the fight for justice.  Congressman Lewis is remembered as one of the pioneers of the civil rights movement. He worked hand in hand with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  and other notable civil rights leaders.

So today, I want to talk about passing the torch.   The concept of passing the torch, takes place when someone passes on their job duties, or responsibilities, to someone else. The hope is that the next person will carry on that work with the same passion, dedication and determination. The symbol of the torch is important because the torch is fire, that burns brightly and increases vision for what is ahead. 

So today, we must reflect on how we can continue as individuals to use our platforms, to carry the torch and make sure we create a world that is equal and just for everyone.  We must never take for granted the opportunities that we enjoy, that were created by the sacrifices of the great men and women of previous generations.  We must remind ourselves that we honor them by continuing to advocate for change.  

As a professor, motivational speaker, author, and leader, my job in helping Congressman Lewis’s dream stay alive, is to continue to empower and educate others. In order to do this, I must continue to have the difficult conversations, speak out on injustices, and help the underserved and disenfranchised see that they have advocates that will fight for them and give them hope.  

We are all blessed by those who fought for equality, and we must not let their work be in vain.   Who has passed the torch to you?  How can you lead?  How can you help someone find their purpose?   How can you help to create a world that embraces everyone?   Let us not allow the torch that was lit by Congressman Lewis to fade or burn out.  But let us proudly carry that torch and pass it on to future generations.

As I close, I would like to share a quote by Congressman John Lewis, that I believe is important. He states that: “Freedom is not a state, it is an act.  It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest.  Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.”

As we reflect and celebrate the life of Congressman John Lewis, let us commit ourselves to a life of service, and a willingness to keep the torch of justice and equality burning.  

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

Where do we go from here?

This was not the 2020, I believe that most of us envisioned. This was the year of a 2020 vision for success.   But over the last few months, covid-19 and the death of over 100,000 American citizens has changed our lives.  When I reflect to the beginning of the year, I never saw the pandemic or the protests, the loss of life, high unemployment, or the closure of thousands of businesses.  We were sheltering in place, and now we have people all over the world calling for justice.   

As we continue to wrestle with these events, we all must ask ourselves this question.   Where do we go from here?  This may sound like a loaded question, but it is not.   If you are a business owner, what will you do to restart your business?   If you are an advocate for justice what must you do to bring about reform?  If you work in law enforcement, what must you do to gain public trust?  If you are an elected official, what must you do to ensure the safety and well-being of your constituents?  If you are a Faith Leader, what must you do to restore hope and faith?   If you are a parent, what must you do to educate and prepare your children for the current world events?  

The point that I am trying to make, is that we all have a role to play in handling the pandemic, the restart of businesses, rebuilding communities, and addressing injustice.   Therefore, I want you to think about your platform, your reach, your knowledge, your skills, and your ability to help? Today, I am going to share my thoughts on what I think we must do.   

  1.  First, we must remind everyone, that change takes time, and it is not easy to change systems that have operated ineffectively for years.  
  2. We must continue our community conversations regarding poverty, inequality, voting, and all types of discrimination.   As we can see, many of these issues have been pushed to the back, but they continue to hurt ordinary people.     
  3. We must review workplace policies, laws, and demand change.
  4. We must educate citizens about the process, and as citizens we must now pay attention and become involved.

As a leadership expert, professor, and coach, I talk about influence, understanding the needs of people, and leading change, all the time.   Today, I am asking that all of us dig deep and ask ourselves, what can I do to help bring healing, understanding, and acceptance to my community.  Remember, now is the moment, where we must examine our leadership and determine our influence.  We must examine if we are using our platforms effectively, willing to have tough conversations, or do we remain absent from the conversation?

On Saturday, a student reminded me of a poem entitled: The Dash, written by Linda Ellis.  In this poem, the writer shares a story about a person’s birth and death, and how the dash represented their time on earth.   As we think about where we are today, the poem is relevant.   When our time is finished, how will we be remembered.   As I close, I would like to remind you, that to bring about real change, it is going to take all of us to become involved in the process.  When we do, we can affect, our homes, schools, churches, businesses, civic offices, and our communities.  We all can become the change we need.   It is up to each of us to answer the question, “Where do we go from here”?

Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

International Women’s Day

happy-womens-day-greeting-card_MkVzB9wO_L

Today is International Women’s Day.   International Women’s Day is a global day where we celebrate, the social, economic, and cultural achievements of women.   It is a day where we are reminded of the importance of equality.   Together we can fight bias, stereotypes, broaden our perceptions, and challenge our own thoughts and actions.   We must recognize the struggles of women globally and continue to encourage women, to find their voice, understand their value, and demand their worth.

We must encourage the next generation to become Doctors, Lawyers, Entrepreneurs,  Professors, CEOs, Artists, Speakers, Authors, Engineers, and Scientists through mentorship, empowerment, support, and education.  The theme this year is #eachforequal where the focus is on creating a global embrace of equality, that enables everyone.  Therefore, as you celebrate today and continue to celebrate women’s history month, celebrate the achievements of women in the classroom, workplace, churches, businesses, and community centers.   Find someone who is struggling with understanding their worth, and place them under your wing.  Help them see they have value and purpose.   When we continue to support and encourage each other, we embrace the importance of equality.   Most importantly, we create a pathway for the next generation.

Women’s History Month is about us, therefore, embrace your history, embrace your journey, embrace who you are.

 

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.

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