Taraji P. Henson & Terry Crews Reveal Why Nothing Compares to the High They Feel in Their Careers These Days

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The hype is over! With another Superbowl in the books, some in biz are counting their wins and maybe even losses. Whether it was the low-scoring game or the low-lights from the halftime show, the game saw a dip in viewership. The crowd-favorites were the pre-event concerts and post-game after-parties.

As the cross-talk in sports circles about the game and the culture gets heated, folks wonder if there’s a message for the NFL brand. As a former NFL player, Terry Crews might have something to say from a sports point of view. While Taraji P. Henson might let ‘Cookie’ say her piece as an ‘Empire’ cultural icon.

But beyond that, they might reveal why nothing compares to the high they feel in their careers these days. He’s the newest host of America’s Got Talent World Edition while she just got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They both remember a time when they had to flip the script in their careers.

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Henson says she started out doing sitcoms in the early days, thinking that comedy would be her thing. Crews shares how he had to turn his playing days into stage plays as a new form of ‘hustle-love.’ Now it feels like with major roles coming in that they could share tips on being a ‘go-to’ person in the workplace.

If there’s one good reason why they’re doing their best work or getting the best assignments it might be in how they traveled the road to excellence. They developed their craft, project by project. It’s like the ‘got milk’ campaign for building strong bones, their career might have its own 4-part slogan for strong game:

  1. Got Made?

When you think about how milk ‘got made’ there’s a process of going from raw grass to pure milk. For Crews & Henson the journey has been a process of going from raw talent to pure gold. How they got made hasn’t been about getting there fast, even-though their careers now seem to be on a fast-track.

  1. Got Trade?

They spent time learning the ropes as they played the roles. There was a time when having a skill meant applying it to a certain trade. This way folks often made a living with their hands. But these days ‘got trade’ might also be about developing your brand as a trade and making a living with all ‘hands on deck.’

  1. Got Paid?

Henson finds herself doing Empire on the small screen and breakout movies on the big-screen. Crews is also wearing many hats in a similar way. They use their skills and build their brand to create ‘got paid’ money moves. That means they turn their off-season in one area into their on-season in another area.

  1. Got Praised?

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Crews tells the story of hosting a talent show back in high school. It was his way of getting his mom to support his early showbiz dreams. Now things have come full-circle in hosting AGT as a worldwide TV franchise. Maybe the way he ‘got praised’ back then was a sign of how he’d rise to doing big things today.

Henson shared how she got more serious roles after early days in sitcoms. She adjusted her ‘flow and style’ to land those gigs. The same is true for Crews in going from the football field to a different field of dreams. Some say watching them ‘hustle-love’ in their career lanes gives us a certain kind of high.

Tip: When it comes to being one of the ‘go-to’ persons at work, it takes developing your craft project by project to the point where you bring a certain kind of high to the marketplace.

Talkback: What kind of high do you get watching Henson and Crews do their thing?

Tracks: India Arie & Musiq Soulchild – Chocolate High – https://youtu.be/3F8R-vBB4O4

Ledesi – High – https://youtu.be/MEiM2iokvFs

Tichina Arnold and Cedric the Entertainer Make Career Moves Look Like a Walk in the Park, But They Have a Simple Secret.

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Looks like things are about to change in the neighborhood. That’s one way to describe the theme behind the new CBS sitcom with Tichina Arnold and Cedric the Entertainer. They have new neighbors and let’s just say nobody saw this coming. They want to be welcoming but some things may have to grow on them.

That’s a way Arnold might describe her own career path. She’s been around the Hollywood block a few times. Some remember her on the show Martin. Others loved her on Everybody Hates Chris. Now she teams up with Cedric on a new show that’s gone from pilot to getting the green light for a full season.

Arnold and Ced have been making career moves that look like a walk in the park. What’s their secret? Maybe it’s in finding the right collaboration. They recognize when the right part needs the right partner. For Ced it’s doing the stand-up circuit with fellow comics. For Arnold it’s being with the right crew.

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Over the years they’ve racked-up some major roles on the big screen and TV tube. Ced recently got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He’s even featured on a Network TV magazine cover. They’re hoping to keep the jokes coming and the money flowing as they continue to grow their body of work.

Arnold thinks back to when her heart told her that singing was something she wanted to do. After standing before a church audience she belted-out a song that was part gospel and part nursery rhyme. They both moved to Hollywood to make it big. But Arnold says she got advice that was sort of like:

  1. Find your hustle love

Arnold tells of an Uncle whose advice was to look in the classifieds for acting auditions. He thought she could tryout and maybe find her hustle love. Sometimes hustle is something you do. Other times it’s something you have. Arnold and Ced are show co-stars. They might as well be like hustle love partners.

  1. Develop your amazing talent

The audition line was where Arnold found herself week after week. She knew she had something to offer. It was just a matter of talent and timing. She couldn’t control the timing but she worked on her talent. In normal circles talent is what you bring. But in showbiz, talent is who you are and how your value is sold.

  1. Live with real purpose

Sometimes moments of pain in life can push us to live with real purpose. Arnold had a moment where she was locked-up for using a stolen credit card. Her sister who works as her manager has had some health challenges. These experiences have helped to shape how she serves some earthly good.

  1. Do good work

There’s good work she does in her starring roles. These have allowed her to keep the lights on at home and give back. There’s good work you do that makes the God in you shine through. Plus, there are different levels to being a showbiz star in Hollywood. Arnold and Ced want to keep rising to new heights.

They and the supporting cast are excited about the new sitcom. In the TV world the goal is 100 episodes. That magical number puts you in the running for syndication. With syndication the checks keep coming long after the show is done taping. Career moves that bring a body of work tend to payoff eventually.

Tip: The stars in showbiz make level-up moves in career by finding their hustle love, taking talent to new heights and going all the way to the bank.

Talkback: What’s it like having a workplace side-kick, co-star in showbiz or hustle love partner on your level?

Tracks: Stokley – Level – https://youtu.be/phOiiWL_Ljg

India Arie – God in You – https://youtu.be/tkcpebHGHZg

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

Beyoncé Broke the Internet and Von Miller Broke the Shell in their Best Showing Yet #BigTimeUniversity

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny? 

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine with Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (Old-School Flava)

It was just another day at the office as Superbowl pools got checked and cross-checked. The winners were happy while the losers were good sports. Then it was back to the normal workday of meetings and projects. Meanwhile, Beyoncé broke the Internet and Von Miller broke the shell in their best showing yet.

Over 100 million saw the Broncos win and Von Miller named MVP. NFL Commissioner Goodell said “He’s the kind of young man that plays this game at the highest level and does it off the field, also.” Bey and Von know sometimes you’ve got to be focused and hungry for more than a regular serving of success.

The shattered pieces of the Internet have mended after the Halftime Show. So had the setbacks and injuries Miller experienced during the 2013 season. He described it as ‘a rough period’ in his pro career. The word around football circles is that he found a new sense of purpose, focus and hunger for the game.

“It’s like, he got it. He got through it. He understood that you can do more with this platform than just play,” said his mother Gloria Miller talking to Denver’s NBC 9News. Before going on Ellen’s Show he paid homage to family, friends and his football brothers in the trenches for helping him move past the benches.

Miller is like ‘hometown boy done good.’ Bey is no different and in a sense was in Michael Jackson mode. They affirm why we blog at Big Time University. It’s about learning everything you can from those who’ve come before you or are around you and sharing everything you can with those coming behind you.

Groove-Track: India Arie – Break the Shell – https://youtu.be/uZ5V6QuAC24

Theme:–The Year of ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine With Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (New-School Flava)

Another day, another office Superbowl pool. No time to punt or be a fool. Before results in the bag things get checked. Then as game over get cross-checked. Winners happy, losers look to next year. Then back to cube, desk and chair. Beyoncé did her thing broke the Internet. Miller broke the shell for best stuff yet.

Over 100 million saw the game. Miller making it to MVP fame. NFL Commish thinks he’s the real deal. Playing at highest level on and off the field. A young man whose game is up and up. How he helped Broncos win the cup. Got to be focused and hungry. Beyond regular success serving ask Tony Dungy.

Shattered pieces of Internet mended. Halftime show saw Bey, Coldplay and Bruno blended. Miller moving past 2013 season setbacks. Showing what it takes to have comebacks. Sees it as ‘a rough period’ gone by. Now he’s surely flying high. New sense for what he can do. When things line-up and come to you.

It’s like he got it and got through it. Deciding not the time to quit. Understood that he can do more. With a platform as well as the score. Momma Miller right there by his side. Giving her support for the long ride. Paying homage to football brothers in the trenches. For helping him not be stuck on the benches.

He’s ‘hometown boy done good.’ Bey’s no different as others could. With her in Michael Jackson mode. He’s ready to rock and hit the road. Affirming Big Time University is a place. Where we rise to next level space. Learning from those before us and around the way. Lifting those behind us for their hip hip hooray.

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Tip: World-class results come by being focused and hungry or by being irregular and at times irreverent.

Talkback: A little sports trivia: How many times has a defensive player been named Superbowl MVP?

Groove-Tracks: Rihanna ft Jeezy – Hard – https://youtu.be/Xcwd_Nz6Zog

 

Little Mix – Change your Life – https://youtu.be/ifRoMGG8Wvs

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

Shanice Williams & Tori Kelly go from Unknown to Household Names in Blink of a Dream #BigTimeUniversity

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

NBC’s doing more ‘Live TV’ magic with The Wiz. Its star, 19 year-old Shanice Williams. She isn’t the only new face in entertainment. Recording artist Tori Kelly is being named Billboard’s breakthrough artist of 2015. Williams and Kelly are going from relative unknown to household names in the blink of a dream.

On landing the role Williams tells the NY Post “It wouldn’t process in my head, for some reason. I had some Chipotle after that and then just wanted to go to sleep and wake up so I knew I wasn’t dreaming!” Reality is what happened to her from dreaming about being selected best-in-class for a major project.

They spent years dreaming about being where they are today. Kelly started out on Youtube and was later discovered. For Williams it was in watching others perform on stage and seeing herself. After the past year in LA theater school she returned to her NJ home and auditioned for the role, beating-out 300 girls.

Pursuing our dreams is a lot like watching the TV weather map projected on green screen. There’re seasons, patterns and flows along with Highs and Lows. But a click can make things change on screen in the blink of an eye. Williams might say it’s a God-click that’s changed her situation in the blink of a dream.

Above all, their dreams took strength, courage and homespun wisdom. So they’re now working at a higher ‘jet stream’ with other big names in showbiz. A radiant smile and seasoned performances will make them ready for more big things. That’s why it’s not over until the phone rings or dreamline blings.

Groove-Track: India Arie – ‘Strength, Courage and Wisdom’ – https://youtu.be/LzUTZUONyms

Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

The magic of ‘Live TV.’ In The Wiz on NBC. Shanice Williams the newest star. Ready to takeoff and go far. Not only new face on the block. Artist Tori Kelly set to take stock. Being named Billboard’s artist of the year. With some new music to hear. From relative unknown in talent. To ‘blink of a dream’ in their assent.

Williams landing lead role. To NY Post she shares her soul. At first not able to process in her head. What the show’s caller just said. Needing to grab a bite and take a nap. Before seeing if dream was in her lap. Reality is what happened after that. Her dream selection for best-in-class project stat.

Spent years dreaming about a day. When they wouldn’t have words to say. Kelly, first as a Youtube standout. Being discovered was her handout. Williams watched others on stage. Before seeing herself on cover page. The past year in LA theater school. Then back home to audition and beat the pool.

Pursuing dreams like heard on weather call. Or TV’s green screen forecast wall. Having seasons, patterns and flows. Along with nature’s highs and lows. But a click can make quick change. In blink of an eye a new range. Williams saying ‘Big Daddy’ got her ready to blow. Blink of a dream becomes a show.

Strength, courage homespun wiz-dom above all. Things that make dreams stand tall. Reaching a higher ‘jet stream’ in fame. Working with others having big name. Radiant smile, seasoned performances in their game. For new things above the same. It’s not over until the phone rings. Or at least the dreamline blings.

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Tip: Our dreams take strength, courage and homespun wiz-dom or a magical audition for the good life.

Talkback: Who would it have been great to see perform in the latest re-do of The Wiz?

Groove-Tracks: ‘Empire’ Cast – “Bout 2 Blow” – https://youtu.be/ClC-5j23Flg


One Republic – ‘Good Life’ – https://youtu.be/jZhQOvvV45w

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

Jennifer Hudson Has Turned ‘Singing in Church’ Into Star-Studded Stage Performances #BigTimeUniversity

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

The final season of American Idol hits TV screens in January. So Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban are on the road doing their star search. Thousands of wannabe’s have taken to the Idol stage. But it’s Jennifer Hudson who’s turned ‘singing in church’ into star-studded stage performances.

Hudson tells Glamour magazine “When I hear people say, ‘Jennifer Hudson, Oscar, Grammy winner,’ I’m like, Who are they talking about? That’s me? Certain things you can never really get used to.” She knows something about having the right mojo for handling setbacks in careers, brands and dreams.

Her journey on Idol did not end up how she might have originally hoped. She wasn’t among the finalists, having been booted from the show weeks earlier. Since then she’s had huge success in the big leagues. For her, it’s like being an undrafted athlete who goes on to earn MVP status in the championship game.

When she left Idol few (if any) saw her as a Grammy or Oscar winner. Her role in the movie Dreamgirls and her debut album sky-rocketed her acclaim. That’s the thing about being undrafted and having the right perspective. You feel a breakthrough coming even when others think it’s unexpected and uncharted.

Hudson endured the loss on the Idol stage. But it’s the loss of her mother, sister and nephew due to violence that was the hardest to bear. So she credits her son for not losing her sanity. Many see her as an undisputed rock in family and showbiz. Her success has included turning setbacks into comebacks.

Groove-Track: Gladys Knight – ‘Just a Little’ – https://youtu.be/mfpGh95hPAs

Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

Final season of American Idol coming soon. Hits TV screens before being sent to the moon. J-lo, Harry and Keith getting set. For fans place their winning bet. Thousands made the star search page. And JHUD made it to main stage. From singing in church back in the day. To star-studded performances that pay.

Tells Glamour Magazine it’s hard to think. All that’s happened in a wink. Oscar, Grammy winner what they call her. Some things she just can’t believe for sure. “Who they talking ’bout” she wonders. And other things she kinda ponders. The right mojo for handling dreams. From setbacks to award-winning teams.

Journey on Idol wasn’t to the top. But that wasn’t her last stop. Getting booted earlier on the show. A stepping-stone to helping her grow. Having success in movies and music scores. In the big leagues is where she soars. It’s like being undrafted in name. And becoming MVP in championship game.

After Idol few saw her next move. But she got on the Oscar and Grammy groove. Role in Dreamgirls and debut album fame. Helped sky-rocket her in acclaim. That’s having the right perspective even if undrafted. A breakthrough’s coming though unexpected and uncharted.

Hudson endured loss on Idol that year. But later loss of mother, sister and nephew was hard to bear. Credits her son in keeping her sanity. Not getting caught-up in thoughts of vanity. Many see her as undisputed rock through the setbacks. A star in her family and showbiz from related comebacks.

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Tip: Setbacks and comebacks are like a ‘before and after’ way of seeing success as ‘no pain, no gain.’

Talkback: Who’d you like to see make a return appearance on Idol’s final season?

Groove-Tracks: India Arie – ‘Get it Together’ – https://youtu.be/3XKirCbflZU

Fifth Harmony – “BO$$” – https://youtu.be/Y4JfPlry-iQ

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

@CarliLloyd Brought Her ‘It-Factor’ to the Game on the Soccer World Stage – #WUWECAST

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” – #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?


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Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

So who’s up for a parade? That’s the breaking news from the office of NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio. He was approached by another elected official with the idea. It will be the first for honoring a women’s team. How fitting that’ll be since NJs Carli Lloyd brought her ‘it-factor’ to the soccer world stage.

Head coach Jill Ellis said, “I’m so happy for them, so happy for every little girl who dreams about this.” The looks on their faces said a lot about the game. It also mirrored ‘happiness in the workplace’ as a flashback to the playground. What you bring to the game is what you celebrate at the party.

Lloyd said she was on a mission for the team. She’s been developing her talent even before she played for Rutgers. Her former coach and those on her club team remember times where she was fierce. Her happiness on the field (like that on a job) rises by turning talent into skill and training into expertise.

The U.S. women’s team was often called a 23-player squad. That’s not just about numbers but also synergy. There was a balance of old-timers and newbies. Lloyd’s ‘it-factor’ was more than talent but also her sense of teamwork. As a player she scored three goals and as captain she shared the spotlight.

Lots of history was made in the game with Lloyd racking-up a few. The happiness she first spoke of was how surreal the moment. It’s not a feeling you fight but one that lets you float on cloud nine. What that says about ‘it-factor’ is her having the midas touch in skill, chemistry and screams from cheering fans.

Groove-Track: Pharrell Williams – ‘Happy’ – https://youtu.be/y6Sxv-sUYtM

Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

Who’s up for a parade? Women’s soccer made the grade. NYC Mayor DeBlasio’s office thinks so. Got idea from elected official in the know. Making it happen would be a first time. No other women’s team been this prime. Quite fitting for Carli Lloyd making sports page. Bringing her ‘it-factor’ to the world stage.

Head coach happy as can be. Says girls did their duty. This for every girl who dreams. About being on winning teams. Looks on their faces said a lot. Like good food from grandma’s pot. Happiness at work or at play. Sure can happen any given day. Raise your game with more hearty. Celebrate like a 1999 party.

Lloyd’s mission for the team was there. Developing her talent year to year. Even before her Rutgers playing days. Was a force with a fierce gaze. Former coach giving her much props. Club team members say she’s got hops. Her happiness on the field as in a job. Comes with training, skill and expertise blob.

Women’s team was 23-player strong. Not just numbers but synergy along. Good balance of old-timers as well as upstarts. With coaches and role players doing their parts. Lloyd’s ‘it-factor’ in talent and teamwork mix. A combo for her game fix. Scoring three goals as a key player. Sharing the spotlight as team leader.

Lots of history in the making. With beauty and grace for the taking. Lloyd had hers in fair share. A surreal moment of happiness in the air. Not a feeling you want to fight. But floats you on cloud nine day or night. What that says about ‘it-factor’ is this. Midas touch in skill, chemistry and screaming-fan bliss.

carli-lloyd2Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tip: Your ‘it-factor’ in skill and happiness is not a feeling you fight but one that might bring screaming fans day or night.
Talkback: Is a parade for the U.S. women’s soccer team a good thing?
Groove-Tracks: India Arie – ‘Just Do You’ – https://youtu.be/qXpaJMg3q8I

Shaggy ft Beres Hammond – ‘Fight This Feeling’ – https://youtu.be/v_m783XAQjo

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST