Cardi B & Simone Biles Explain How Their Dreams Came Together Even Through Stormy Weather

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Superbowl LII is in the bag and the Philly parade is set. The game might be over but it seems Cardi B and Simone Biles are just getting started. It’s hard to say which one’s the bigger pop culture icon right now. One’s getting ready to tour with Bruno Mars, the other’s back to training for the 2020 Olympic team.

Both have adoring fans who just can’t get enough of their style and story. For Cardi B it’s a case of “don’t judge a book by its backside until you get the backstory.” For Biles it’s a case of “when a dream is in you it’s gotta find a way to come through.” Then again maybe we can say the same thing for both.

Their journeys are somewhat similar in skipping out on college. Cardi B made it through two semesters and had enough. Biles chose to skip out on a UCLA scholarship and instead go pro to fulfill her dreams. Fast-forward their stories and you find them becoming their best by having a ‘no limit’ mindset.

Both did some ‘firsts’ in their game. Cardi B as the first rapper to have her first three singles in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100s. At the Rio Olympics Biles became the first female gymnast to win four gold medals in the same games. Now they’re both working on not being a one-time wonder or passing fancy.

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Biles’ weakness is the uneven bars. She’s much better at gymnastic routines that use the power in her legs. But her electric personality fits well with her performance stick-ability. Cardi B turned her weakest times into breakout moments. Now her music career seems to be on a path of going all the way up.

Their road to glory also came with some ‘stormy weather.’ Biles had to bounce around in foster care until she was adopted by her grand-parents. Cardi B dealt with the separation of her parents and the challenge of finding it hard to get by. They showed courage to stay the course and soar by how they would:

  1. List the dream and make the hit list.

One year after barely missing out on making the National Team, Biles decided to regroup to do whatever it took to bounceback. She soon became a hit on the gymnastic circuit and went on to become three-time world champion. Then she decided to list the dream of making the Rio Olympics and the rest is history.

  1. Learn the ropes and trust the process.

Cardi B didn’t initially set out to be a rapper. But to move past her show-girl days, she began paying attention to some of the big stars in the game. She remembers thinking that she could do that by bringing her own swag and then some. Things went from there, after starting from the bottom and now she’s here.

  1. Bring the funk and raise the roof.

The funk for Biles is how she became a force on the floor. She’d find the zone where passion was just rolling towards perfection. The funk is that feeling of being in a good groove. It’s something fans can sense when it happens. The funk for Cardi B has her becoming a force where she gets to raise the roof.

  1. Spread the love and live the life.

Recently Biles shared that she was also the victim of sexual abuse. She kept those feelings repressed for years but now her healing comes from being able to tell her story and spread the love. Beyond a new boyfriend to talk about and fiancé to have and hold, these ladies are in a good place to live the life.

When you look at their life, your life or my life you see what you see. But after a while things seem to turn out fine. Biles and Cardi B’s stories remind us that even if you’ve had some downside, you can still reach the upside. These ladies are doing it big, making their mark and owning their place in the showbiz game.

Tip: When you have a dream in you it finds a way to come through by learning the ropes and trusting the process.

Talkback: Does Cardi B have it in her to be more than a one-time wonder?

Tracks: Usher ft Young Thug – No limit – https://youtu.be/3w0yqAdJ1iY

Mary J Blige – My Life – https://youtu.be/6DLZc97nWf0

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Chadwick Boseman and Beyoncé: Their Personal Expressions for How Hopes and Dreams Can Find the Path to Greatness

2018 Theme
The Year of ‘Got Shine?’
Where The Things You Know and How You Flow Bring More Star Power for Sure

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The anticipation is building for the next release from MCU – Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s the latest Super Hero character known as the Black Panther. Lots of celebs got to see the first screening in person. The reviews have been filled with superlatives as if it’s a preview for going from block to blockbuster.

Then of-course there’s Beyoncé and her Grammy-chic appearance. She wasn’t up for any awards but as usual made an iconic fashion statement. Boseman plays the role of king in the upcoming movie. Beyoncé rocks the title of queen in pop culture. But it’s their personal expressions that deliver creative excellence.

The Black Panther storyline has themes that make each character’s greatness come alive. Whether it’s in action-moves of a super hero, amazing plays in the Superbowl or breakthroughs on the field of dreams, the path to greatness comes alive in two success modes, Lifestyle and Lifetrack. They make things pop.

Boseman and Beyoncé have used these on the path to greatness. For Boseman it’s taken a few roles that weren’t crossover but were a stepping stone. For Beyoncé, it’s in her creative relevance and how she goes from ‘nothing to something’ artistically. Their amazing work sends chills or makes you wanna chill.

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Who they are, what they do and how they flow are the sum total of how they express themselves. It’s the combination of their creative excellence and creative relevance that make them special. When things come together it’s like magic which might explain how their success keeps rising to the ceiling.

Over the years my dream has gone through a few climbs from sun-up to sun-down. Feedback from others has helped to tighten things up. The magic for writing this blog has gone from good to better. But the playbook that Boseman & Beyoncé have used on becoming their best seems to go something like this:

  1. Conceive and go from zero to breakout move.

Boseman and Beyoncé have different stories for how they’ve built their movie/music careers. One thing common to both is first seeing themselves doing what they’re doing now. They conceived it in their minds-eye and visualized it in their imaginations. Then after a while, things went from zero to breakout move.

  1. Believe and go from a ‘nobody’ to a rising ‘somebody.’

The space between what they visualized and what they delivered is in how they believed in themselves and in what’s possible. This helped Beyoncé go from singing in her living room to performing on the world stage. Not every dream goes that big. But dreams take you from a ‘nobody’ to a rising ‘somebody.’

  1. Achieve and go from bottom-stack to top-rack.

Every time you achieve something there’s usually a lesson and a lift. The lesson comes from looking at the ups and downs to get there. The lift comes from seeing where you are compared to where you once were. Maybe that’s why Boseman’s big screen roles and Beyoncé’s showbiz journey are so exciting.

  1. Receive and go from nomination to coronation.

Beyond the obvious star power, some think the movie should get nominations for the creative costumes, special effects or music soundtrack. Well just like in the movies, character development and creative genius have meant a lot to Boseman and Beyoncé. It’s taken them from nomination to coronation.

We celebrate them for making us want to sing, dance or feel like kings and queens. We emulate them in striving to better our game or biggup our name. Their hopes and dreams have found the path to greatness not by chance but by a playbook for creative brilliance that has helped make them famous.

Tip: Creative brilliance in your career grind and life dreams needs creative excellence to make you awesome and creative relevance to make you special.

Talkback: How will Boseman’s new role in Black Panther help better his game or biggup his name?

Tracks: Kanye West – Amazing – https://youtu.be/PH4JPgVD2SM

French Montana – Famous – https://youtu.be/LNHkxOU7zz8

Sterling K. Brown & Mary J Blige on What it Means to Think Like the Best, Stay on a Roll and See What The Next Level Shall Be

2018 Theme
The Year of ‘Got Shine?’: Where The Things You Know and How You Flow Bring More Star Power for Sure

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Things on the East Coast these days might be a little topsy-turvy with political back and forth. Things on the West Coast were a little nerve-wracking after the Tsunami warning. But Hollywood kept the lights on to make this year’s Oscar nominations. Awards season is in full swing and Sterling K. Brown is on a roll.

He made history in winning a SAG award as the first black male actor in a category. He pulled-off a similar feat earlier in winning an Emmy. He’s not the only one on a roll as Mary J Blige got her Hollywood Star recently. She’s also getting Oscar buzz with her nomination and showing us how to bounce back.

Just ask Steve Harvey about being on a roll. His revamped talk show was renewed for a second season. They remind us to act like a success, think like the best and see what the next level shall be. It’s doing what you love and loving what you do. But it’s really how they tap-in to the five success groups of life.

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Everybody shows up with talents and gifts. These and other asset groups are like bread slices. They feed our success which feeds our family. Books have a table of contents. Food items have a nutrition table of contents. Well it’s the five success groups that help them stay on a roll in order to reach their goal.

The saying goes “You get out what you put in.” Not only do they tap-in, they also put-in to stay on point. It’s not always easy or a slam dunk. How that’s done differs from one job role to the next. They know that when you act like a success and think like the best, sooner or later you get to beat-on your chest.

So whether it’s to keep that 2018 resolution on track, make that career move or put that dream project in breakout mode, here’s what stars like them do to get more out of life’s success groups. Before they can beat on their chest the key is in answering four questions for how they might:

  1. Think like the best poker player and ask what’s in your hand?

Every card player gets dealt a hand. It’s the starting point for how they play the game. Every breakout star turns the talents and gifts they were dealt into something that’s widely felt. Plus, what’s in your hand isn’t just about the cards you can play but about handling your business when your number gets dealt.

  1. Think like the best game-changer and ask what’s in your hustle?

There’re stats that players use to get a sense for their averages. Every sport has its main stats that help determine performance. No two stats are the same but one thing’s certain is that hustle can change the game. Athletes who’re able to stay on a roll or go to the next level bring extra hustle beyond the muscle.

  1. Think like the best song-writer and ask what’s in your hook?

There’s the hook and there’s the chorus that keep us humming our favorite song. The chorus gets repeated two or three times. The hook is the vibe-line that gives the track more playback. It’s what keeps a business, brand or relationship on a roll. It’s the hook that keeps the folks coming for more playback.

  1. Think like the best stage performer or social leader and ask what’s in your hope?

Nobody gets up on stage and hopes to be a flop. You expect to do your best and leave an impression or excitement with fans in the audience. Moreover, most social leaders pursue an agenda where there is some worthy objective. The things you hope for are those for which you feel worthy or feel are worth it.

Years ago someone helped me see what’s ‘in my hand.’ It’s an asset sometimes delivered through ideas, insights and maybe a dose of inspiration. Music adds to how I bring a hook or extra hustle beyond my writing muscle. This way I’m putting my talents and gifts to work to meet life’s situations with finesse.

Tip: The things that keep you on a roll involve using what’s in your hand to bring hustle to your passion and the hook to your brand playback.

Talkback: What’s the hook to your favorite song that keeps it on playback?

Tracks: Mary J Blige – Bounce Back 2.0 – https://soundcloud.com/officialmaryjblige/bounce-back-20

 

Bruno Mars ft Cardi B – Finesse – https://youtu.be/LsoLEjrDogU

Oprah Winfrey Speaks Out and Usain Bolt Jumps In With Their New Year’s Resolutions to Make a Run

2018 Theme
The Year of ‘Got Shine?’:
Where The Things You Know and How You Flow Bring More Star Power for Sure

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Looks like Red Carpet watchers and sports fans got a back-to-back treat in primetime. At the 75th Golden Globes, celebs came out in force to honor great movie productions. As if right on cue 24 hours later, the College Football Championship game between Georgia & Alabama had its share of great performances.

For the Globes, this year brought a new dose of social activism to the festivities. Oprah had her standout moment of course. While for football fans there was biting suspense as the game went down to the wire. And scrolling on the bottom of the TV screen during the game was news of Usain Bolt doing soccer.

The after-show buzz was if Oprah would run for President in 2020. Plus it seems Bolt wants to make a run at playing soccer on the big stage. It’s not clear if Oprah will seek higher office as a next chapter. But she’s down for the women’s cause. At least they’re open to taking their shine to a new level or new grind.

Oprah’s decision to speak out and Bolt’s decision to jump-in give clues for making the most of our new year’s resolutions. Whether it’s about a new level or new grind, their success shows us that to breakout from a slump, breakthrough from a setback or break barriers like the glass ceiling, it helps to:

  1. Know Your Game

Oprah spent 25 years on TV hosting her talk show. She then went from daytime queen to cable network mogul. Now she’s on Forbes’ Billionaires list. No one can question if she knows her game. A key to her brilliance from one game to the next is in how she builds-on her skill and grit during the learning curve.

  1. Know Your Groove

Knowing your professional game can sometimes feel boring, monotonous or be on auto-pilot. Oprah and Bolt saw how it can feel like not much of an effort or like you’ve lost your groove. Well, keeping your mojo or getting your groove back means keeping your results ‘on point’ around more passion and purpose.

  1. Know Your Grow

I can remember as a child on those days travelling with my dad to his farm. There were different types of crops which meant different techniques to help them grow. With different types of games professionally, it’s good to know what makes you grow to get your best stuff to flow at work, play or in the marketplace.

  1. Know Your Goal

Bolt wants to play in Europe for die-hard fans. Oprah wants to give young girls hope for tomorrow and the tools to achieve. A goal gives our dreams legs to stand on and a path to becoming the best we can be. And in the words of Oprah, “the biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”

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Oprah and Bolt have already reached great heights in their careers. They really don’t have to prove anything more to be secure. Their dreams have taken them east, west, north and south as if travelling the four corners of success. They give us a kind of GPS roadmap for making something of ourselves.

The new-year can be a good time to look at starting over. It seems Bolt’s doing that as an athlete. It’s also a good time for kicking things into higher gear. That’s what Oprah’s speech did for many who posted messages on social media. They’ve already shown us what it takes to ‘shine on’ and become legendary.

Tip: Taking your professional shine to a new level of brilliance or new grind means knowing how to work your game and hit your groove so that how you grow helps to push your goal.

Talkback: What’s it gonna take for Oprah make a run or for Bolt to become soccer’s new son?

Tracks: Welshly Arms – Legendary – https://youtu.be/Z2CZn966cUg

Jussie Smollette ft Bre-Z – Shine on Me – https://youtu.be/FAA4AdxEm34

Tyler Perry & Jamie Foxx on Becoming a Hollywood High Roller and Holly-Hood High Achiever

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The end of year awards season is about to jump-off and it seems GQ Magazine got things rolling. They named Colin Kaepernick their Citizen of the Year. He’s been a trailblazer for social justice issues. There’s also Blake Shelton being named Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine. Fans are spreading the love.

Tyler Perry and Jamie Foxx might find themselves on a different list. They’d at least get honorable mentions in discussions around Funniest Man Alive. A few other names might depend on the ‘type of funny’ category. Perry & Foxx certainly have cred as Hollywood high roller & Hollyhood high achiever.

They’ve been in the public eye for a while but for Perry the road to Tinsel-town wasn’t always a song and dance. He describes his story as one of always believing that Higher is Waiting. This mindset helped him in getting through the dark times, appreciating the good times and celebrating those high times.

It was more about chasing the dream than chasing the fame. This balancing act started with a showbiz project that kinda got them in the game. Some will remember Foxx from his In Living Color days. But for Perry it’s been a journey that got started with his urban-styled stage plays.

Some teary-eyed times are usually when talking about special people in their lives. For Foxx it was a grandmother who took care of him after adoption. With Perry there were folks who helped him connect his faith to hopes for a brighter future. They’re grateful for the advice and support they got along the way.

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Their road to success was first nurtured by close family members or friends. But it seems there’re moments in life that are set aside on our journeys where people show up as strangers. Sometimes their presence is about getting to the next point. Other times it’s about getting the point in life’s journey.

It’s like when I first read the book of a famous media personality. It describes his journey of going from average kid to getting a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Two particular factors mentioned in the book related to certain aspects in my own journey. It’s the kind of thing that’s used as a bookmark of life.

Well if not as a bookmark then there’re those situations that are more like milestones. We appreciate milestone markers on a long road trip. One reason for those markers is letting us know where we are on the highway stretch. But another is to let us know how far we’ve travelled since the starting point.

Foxx and Perry are making the most of the journey by turning their bookmarks into a grander sense of purpose. They’re also turning milestones into ways for helping others get to the next point. That’s the balancing act they try to manage in chasing the dream without getting distracted by chasing the fame.

So let’s get back to the idea of Funniest Man Alive. In terms of being among the super funny, it probably takes having a certain punch to the flow of funny. Then the punch-line will be more than just scripted. Well in chasing the dream it takes having a certain punch to the flow of whatever makes us razzle dazzle.

Tip: In chasing the dream it takes having a certain punch to the flow of whatever makes us razzle & dazzle.

Talkback: Who’d be on your short list of Funniest Man Alive?

Tracks: Empire Cast ft Terrence Howard – Dream On With You – https://youtu.be/XNkmI8nnMVY

Joyful Noise Soundtrack – Higher – https://youtu.be/VShyvXuJBQ0

Lebron James as Rapper, Ice Cube as Baller: The Genius Behind Their Rise to Fame

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The NBA season is a few weeks in and looks like the fellas are still working out the kinks. The Golden State Warriors lost their first game on the night they got their championship rings. The Cleveland Cavaliers lost more than three games in a row and fans are wondering what’s going on in the ‘Land.

Well maybe getting ready for Halloween had them a little distracted. James went to his annual costume party dressed-up as the Pennywise clown from the movie ‘It’. Steph Curry rode in to his on a bicycle like another kind of clown himself. James was also seen on Carpool Karaoke with Ice Cube tagging along.

The costumes of James and Curry stood out as the best. But it’s James as rapper and Ice Cube as baller that helps us see what can make our job performance standout. We see them light-up with their unique strengths and take-off with their creative flow. In a sense that’s the genius behind their rise to fame.

Sometimes sport commentators do the game recap. As they review a big play the video graphics will show how the play unfolded. There’re times the player and the path in the graphics will light-up as things take shape. That’s how James and Cube light-up the scene the way video graphics are smart and cool.

The whole Halloween thing might be scary to some. But it’s a fun way for people to show-off their alter-ego in personality. James could easily go as a rapper. He’s always sharing Instagram clips of his rap-alongs. Cube could easily go as a baller since he’s the co-founder of the 3-on-3 basketball league.

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There’s something else about how they make performance stand-out. They get to show-off their alter-ego in passion. Plus, they’ll bring gametime effort as a balance between how they light-up their strengths on the work-side and flex their flow on the play-side. That’s why we cheer because their genius got game.

As a blogger I’m always using my unique strengths to drop some lines. I realize in writing that a part of getting through comes from being heard without necessarily being seen. I also have a love for how music can bring creative flow to the script. It’s the same reason why movie trailers use music in their promos.

Some of what makes James light-up is hitting the big shots. What makes Cube light-up is spitting slick rhymes. But it’s in how their ‘genius got game’ that’s helped them rise to a higher level of fame. They’ve taken what they know from their main thing and turned it into movies, merchandise and pulling strings.

Chris Paul from the Houston Rockets tells his story of unique strengths, creative flow and being traded from the LA Clippers. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to uproot his family. His main concern was, in one sense, around ‘happy wife happy life.’ He also didn’t know how his son felt about leaving his friends.

He took his son on signing-day when he was introduced to the media and fans. The moment he walked out and heard the cheers, it caused him and his son to light-up. The look on his son’s face said it all. So whether as po’ folks or ‘just folks,’ great performance is about how we stand-out and light-up the place.

Tip: Your performance stands-out in how you shake-off the doubts and light-up the place so that your genius got game.

Talkback: What makes the performance of James, Curry or Cube stand-out?

Tracks: Mary J. Blige – Doubt – https://youtu.be/NUE5r4Mzf80

Nappy Roots ft Anthony Hamilton – Po’ Folks – https://youtu.be/QbN6VkleO48

Serena Williams, Jennifer Lopez: Found Love on a Two-Way Street and New Dreams on the Big Stage

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The baseball World Series is here and fans are psyched. Often seen as America’s pastime, the players look forward to starring in their October surprise. Those times can be some of the most excitement-filled highlights in sports. They leave a lasting feeling of working, playing and rising to the occasion.

Serena Williams and Jennifer Lopez are two ladies who have a knack for big moments. Recently, they’ve found love on a two-street and keep striving for new game & dreams on the big stage. Williams found hers giving birth to her first child. She’s also looking to return to the pro tennis circuit early next year.

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Word is J-Lo’s making plans to move in with former baseball slugger A-Rod. After organizing fundraising efforts for Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief, she’s ready to share more love and affection at home. With Williams it’s a focus at home and on the court while for Lopez it’s one of taking care of home and abroad.

When you think about their rise up the ranks it’s on different career tracks. But they might share similar things about achieving new game at work, play and the everyday. Plus, they know when you dare to dream you learn the greatest lessons from having more empowering moments in the daily grind of life.

It’s the kind of aha you might get from watching an Oprah Super Soul Sunday. She’s good on interviewing guests who help us bring more awareness from things we go through. What you’ll find common in those stories as well as that of Williams and Lopez is how they impress with talent and express with gift.

People have been following the journeys of Williams and Lopez from the streets of Compton and blocks of the Bronx. As they found their ‘it’ factor they developed talent into their ‘hit factor.’ Williams became a star on the tennis court. Lopez as a performer became more than just eye-candy on TV & movie screens.

Where their current work is taking them now is to a new level in ‘grand – slam – glam’ for social causes they champion. From a Super Soul viewpoint it’s creating personal/professional flow in the work you do as a calling, on purpose and with passion. This raises your degree of shine as you express with your gift.

In my own ‘journey of love’ at home and in biz I realized why calling, purpose and passion help us make a difference. Think of ‘calling’ as the way you make ‘Big G-o-d’ look good. Purpose is how you serve some earthly good. And passion is how you ‘do you’ as people say about Williams or Lopez ‘damn she’s good!’

Said one way, “you can’t get much more ‘gooder’ than that!” It’s how we reach towards being our best self. On the tennis court Serena brings passion in every swing. On the recent telethon we watched J-Lo bring purpose to the relief efforts. And in serving with their presence or essence they reflect true calling.

Williams and Lopez know the importance of working on their game. Fans at the recent Brooklyn concert saw Lopez perform on stage in full-effect mode. Seeing Williams back on the court again will sure be exciting from watching her juices flow. Rising to the occasion can come with such memorable moments.

Tip: Some of the most empowering moments in the daily grind come from how we impress with our talents and express with our gifts.

Talkback: What about J-Lo for the Superbowl halftime show?

Tracks: India Arie – Do You – https://youtu.be/qXpaJMg3q8I

Pressure – Love and Affection – https://youtu.be/KHVQVVNmh1U