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

How will you be remembered?

Etched into the stone on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a marker of the exact spot Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood to deliver the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in 1963 in Washington DC

Today, we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King was born in Atlanta Georgia in 1929 and died by assassination April 4, 1868 in Memphis Tennessee.   Dr. King was a Baptist Minister and lead the Civil Rights Movement from the mid-1950s until his death.  He advanced civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience.

He is often remembered for his “I have a dream” speech, but throughout his life he shared many words of wisdom.   Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes from his speeches, books, and writings.  

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” 

Strength to Love, 1963

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed.” 

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” 

Strength to Love, 1963

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” 

—Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, Norway, 1964

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” 

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

As I thought about Dr. King today, I thought about all the struggle for equality, and the fight to make life better for all.   I agree that we have made great strides, but we must continue so the dream of a better world never dies.  My mission is to use my gifts and talents to help others discover theirs.   I believe that when a person is walking in their purpose, they do not have time to hate, or mistreat others, because they are on their own mission of greatness.  So today, as you celebrate his life and legacy, I think it is important to think about your own.   How will you be remembered?   What will people say?  

I end with another one of my favorite quotes, by Dr. King, and that is “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

We all have to determine what matters in life, how we want to be remembered, and what impact do we want to make.  Therefore, make a lasting impact.

Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

What we learned in 2020.

Hello Everyone,

Dr. Regina Banks-Hall

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to a moment of motivation with Dr. Regina Banks-Hall.   As we close out 2020, I wanted to spend time, like so many others, recapping the year.   We rolled into the year, with hopes, dreams, and visions.   Two months later, the world would change based on a global pandemic, that has taken the lives of many.  

We went from eating inside restaurants to picking up our food curbside.  We saw movie theaters and concert venues close their doors. We saw the rise in social justice, where many took to the streets to fight for the equality of those disenfranchised.  Small business owners suffered the worst, unable to secure enough funding for their businesses.   However, I believe these business owners will return with new and improved models.   They will have to go back to the drawing board and rethink their plans, but they will chart a new path. 

Therefore, as we close out the year, I want to focus on some of the things we learned in 2020, that we can take with us into 2021.   We learned that we are resilient, we are compassionate, we are survivors, we appreciate life, and we could pivot, as it relates to family and business.    Think about it, we sheltered in placed, we wore masks, vinyl gloves, and learned how to make our own hand sanitizer.   We managed remote learning and found new ways to use Zoom and WebEx for meetings.  Some of us, started businesses during the pandemic, went back to school, started new podcasts, and released new music.  For me, I released a new book.  Finally, some of us discovered talents and skills, that we never knew we had. 

As you enter 2021, I encourage you to identify what you learned in 2020.  Use this information to set new goals, start your business, write that new book, start your podcast, prepare a vision for your family, learn about the stock market, change your career, but most of all, go for it.  None of us know how much time we have, therefore, do not squander what time is left.  We must live life to the fullest, practice social safety habits while we recover, and chase our dreams.  Remember, you are only as good as what you have learned.

You have been listening to a moment of motivation with Dr. Regina Banks-Hall, I wish all of you health, prosperity, and success in the new year.    Let’s use what we have learned.

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

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.

$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