Queen Latifah and Naomi Osaka Might Not Have Royalty in their Veins But They Have Star Power in Their Gains

The first big celeb interview of the year is set! As Oprah plans to do a sit-down with Harry and Meghan, word is their royal titles and privileges will no longer go with them. They’ll be on their own in how they’re seen in the eyes of celebrity, aristocracy and world diplomacy. But that’s not slowing them down.

Meanwhile, the comeback stories of Queen Latifah and Naomi Osaka have also got folks buzzing. Latifah who’s seen her career go through twists and turns is now back on TV, with 20+ million who watched her debut on The Equalizer. It’s a first to have a woman as the lead for that showbiz franchise.

Not sure how many eyeballs watched the Australian Open in tennis, but Osaka put on a show in winning her fourth grand slam championship. The win moved her up to the #2 spot in the rankings. It also put her in the company of a handful of tennis pros who’ve won at least that many majors.

Latifah’s career has spanned entertainment from music to sitcoms to her talk show to the big screen. She’s gone full circle in now starring in her latest project. Osaka has gone through some circles of her own where she showed signs of being a rising star and then had a few “crash and burn” moments.

They credit bounceback-ability to having folks in their corner who keep them lifted but at the same time grounded. They seem to have a similar fierceness where even while they don’t have royalty in their veins, they have star power in their gains. They wrap their magic on the screen or on the court around their:             

  • First love

Latifah says she gets to do some of the stunts in the show. But when it gets to the really crazy stuff she leaves that to the experts. What she’s excited about is how the role draws on her skillset and experience over the years. She gets to ride a motorcycle which is one of those ‘first loves’ she had in younger days.

  • Comfort zone

Osaka shared how she’s seen able to maintain poise under pressure. At the young age of 23, she’s got a lot in her view and expectations on her shoulder. She’s gotten to a point of being comfortable in what she can do on the court while stepping outside of her comfort zone in how she sheds light on social issues.          

  • Drive lane

In sports, athletes have a way of figuring out their ‘drive lane.’ It’s where they can make a move to change the game or dominate the moment. It’s a special effort or effect that puts their passion on full display. Well, when Osaka can up her game with big serves and powerful groundstrokes, she’s in her drive lane.   

  • Inner Strength

Both can give you that bright smile on the outside with turnt-up firepower on the inside. It’s a kinda yin and yang that they seem to balance in their work, play and around the way. They have an easy-going personality but when the game’s on the line they can turn off the charm and deliver the swarm.

Latifah says one of the things that helps her in those kick-butt scenes is the music playing in the background. She gets into a rhythm and tries to step to the groove as she connects the blows. They’re both enjoying the roles they play in being seen as bad to the bone but like royalty on the throne.           

Tip: How you wrap your magic around your passion and purpose will help determine your rise & shine and your claim to fame.

Talkback: Will Harry and Meghan be able to move on from royalty without a penalty?

Tracks: Protoje Ft Popcaan  – Like Royalty – https://youtu.be/WFxyPB_LcBA

George Thorogood  – Bad to the Bone – https://youtu.be/MAb81olgCNs

Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin as Star Athletes Have Been Able to Drop Some Things to Achieve Their Dreams While Holding on to Something Special

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Who’s ready for some Cookie? For those not sure, we’re talking about the lead character on Empire. The show is making its last season run and fans will be watching for a host of reasons. If that’s not your TV ‘cookie’ of choice, then maybe you’re waiting for This is Us or the new smash show The Masked Singer.

While you’re thinking about your TV downtime, others might have seen the feature story on CBS’ 60 Minutes about Shaquem & Shaquill Griffin. They’re identical twin brothers playing in the NFL. It’s hard to separate them not just based on looks but also on the pact they made with each other as eight year-olds.

Shaq & Shaq (sounds like a law firm) grew up playing football in the usual youth leagues before making it to college. The problem was that initially one was accepted on scholarship and the other was left out to dry. Eventually they’d both get scholarships and play at the Division I level.

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They made their way through the rigors of the sport and were ready to go to the next level. The problem was that Shaquem didn’t get an invite to the NFL Combines. His brother put in a word with the Seattle Seahawks who later invited him to tryout. Dude then ran the faster 40-yard dash for a Linebacker.

The story focuses on Shaquem because he’s the first one-handed player in the NFL. But that’s not how he’d like to be remembered. He wants his stats to do the talking. He works at his game in areas and ways that others might take for granted. When it seems like things might hold us back, he shows us to drop the:

  1. Mask

So, about that show where stars perform behind a mask. Folks guess on who they think it is and then one is revealed. Interestingly, last season’s winner saw a jump in his cred. Well Shaquem didn’t hide behind his assumed limits and treat it like a mask. Nothing was gonna prevent him from achieving his dream.

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  1. Fear

It’s said we show up in life with two fears: of heights and loud noises. All others are learned over time. What Shaquem seemed to have done was work hard not only at the skill of the game, but also at dropping his fears. He might have realized that f.e.a.r. is really ‘fools error acting ready’ to distract or disable our goals.

  1. Scab

Remember when you’d get a bruise. It would hurt in the moment and for a day or so longer. Then a ‘scab’ would appear to protect the injured spot. Shaquem’s twin brother has been his protector through the long haul. But Shaquem has also dropped the ‘scab’ of not having both hands, where it doesn’t even matter.

  1. Excuses

When Shaquem didn’t get invited to the Combines that was some hurt. It might have even formed a ‘scab.’ But he decided he wasn’t gonna make excuses. He’d just keep plugging away. When he later got a chance at showing what he could do, he was able to run, tackle and catch like any player on the field.

No matter the career track or season, they’re some similar things we get to work on. Yes, there’s skill of the game, networking in the industry and challenges yet to overcome. When we make a pact or set a goal, we drop the mask, fear, scab and excuses for the passion we’ll make with an empire state of mind.

Tip: When folks make a pact or set goals, they’ll drop the mask, fear, scab and excuses for the passion they’ll make with an empire state of mind.

Talkback: So what’s Cookie up to these days and will fans see an appearance of Jussie?

Tracks: Jay-Z ft Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind – https://youtu.be/QsZlY0Vz4-o

Chronixx – I Can – https://youtu.be/fUREgj4i684

Oprah took 15 minutes, Jordin Sparks Took 3 minutes to Go ‘Back in Stride’ with Career Goals and Breakout Dreams

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By now kids have settled into a new school year. There’s probably been a review period to get them up and running with topics they should know. Then things will shift into learning new stuff. Recently, Oprah took 15 minutes and Jordin Sparks took 3 minutes to show us what ‘back in stride’ in business looks like.

Oprah returned to a role she mastered in her earlier career. As a new contributing host on the CBS program 60 Minutes she said it felt like ‘coming home.’ She moderated a panel discussion on current affairs in a way that would disarm those on the ideological ‘right’ and charm those on the ‘left.’

For Sparks it was a chance to sing the anthem at Monday night’s NFL game on a national stage. She’s been working her way back into pop culture venues after a period of being off the radar. It’s been 10 years since she won American Idol and a lot longer than that since Oprah worked as a news reporter.

What does their return to primetime tell us about reaching a new breakout stage in career goals or biz dreams? There’re things they’ve done which remind us about going from career hold to career gold, from career grind to rewind, from dream seed to dream shoot. In part, it’s in what they did to channel their flow.

After doing daytime talk for 25 years, Oprah decided to launch the OWN Network. She saw it as a next-chapter step in her life’s work. To understand that journey from start to destiny is to see her professional shifts from job to career to vocation. But it’s not always that ambitious or straightforward for everyone.

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In the case of Sparks, she kinda disappeared from the scene after injury to her vocal cords. She says it was a close call of possibly not being able to sing professionally again. She took time off for rest. What happened for her in the downtime and for Oprah in the meantime was what they did in ‘service to grow.’

To understand this, think about the story of the Chinese bamboo tree. When the seed is first planted there’s a period of no visible change or growth. This goes on for three or four years. Then suddenly after a while the bamboo tree can grow to heights of 70, 80, 90 feet or more in the space of a few weeks.

While nothing visible was happening it was still doing things in service to grow. That’s what Oprah did as she became cable channel OWNer. There was a period of ifs and buts. It’s what Sparks might also have done when it seemed like her career lights were about to go dark. I’ve been there a time or two as well.

But you realize that when surprise moments come your way that it’s not really a surprise to life. We see this on NBCs The Voice every so often. A contestant starts singing while the judges are turned away in their chair. After hitting the buzzer they turn around to see a face that doesn’t match the voice.

It might surprise the judge, but it’s not a surprise to life that the contestant can ‘sang.’ It was a surprise for some to see Oprah on 60 Minutes or Sparks doing the anthem. But it wasn’t a surprise to life to have that part of their dreams get the green light. They channeled their flow and are reaping what they did sow.

Tip: When you channel your passion’s flow, you’ll reap what you sow as you ‘service your grow.’

Talkback: Who was Oprah ‘channeling’ in her 60 Minutes debut as old-school news reporter?

Tracks: Frankie Beverly – Back in Stride Again – https://youtu.be/waSM0rXDLys

John Legend – Green Light – https://youtu.be/o-AbEO6J8s0