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


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.


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.


  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 –

Chronixx – I Can –

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


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.”


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 –

Jussie Smollette ft Bre-Z – Shine on Me –

Simone Manual & Ibtihaj Mohammad: What it Took for Them to Become Barrier Breakers #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?


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

Why chase women or waterfalls when you can chase destiny? That’s a question Usain Bolt might have asked (get back to that in a moment). Other major Rio headlines include how the U.S. women are kicking butt. It’s a great story of what it took Simone Manuel and Ibtihaj Mohammad to become barrier breakers.

At the post-event presser Manuel said “The title ‘black swimmer’ makes it seem like I am not supposed to be able to win a gold medal – I work as hard as anybody else and I love the sport and I want to win, just like everybody else.” Here are 2 more reasons why goals can T-up talent, D-up dreams and F-up futures.

Manuel is the first African-American to win gold in Olympic swimming. For Mohammad who won bronze in fencing, she’s the first to win a medal wearing the Hijab head scarf of her Muslim faith. They have a lot to say about breaking through the noise, the no’s and the ‘it’s never been done before’ writings on the wall.

They’re ‘first-ever’ winners who add discipline, build determination and chart destiny to D-up dreams. They know first-hand how to fame-up one’s future and fortunes. It’s the grind of working through some goals that allowed them to T-up their unique talents. This formula is true whether for women or men.

Mohammad might agree with Manuel who said “I hope I can be an inspiration to others so this medal is for those who come behind me and get into the sports and hopefully find the love and drive to get to this point.” Like Bolt, barrier breakers ‘change their name’ (or the game) in how they’re known or remembered.

Groove-Track: TLC – Waterfalls –

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

Why chase women or waterfalls. When chasing the sky is where duty calls. A question in the mind of Usain Bolt. Something to motivate his Olympic jolt. Other Rio highlights on the wire. Where U.S. women are girls on fire. Kicking butt and taking stock. Is how Manuel and Mohammad break barriers and rock.

At post-event presser chat. Manuel shared feelings without a spat. As ‘black swimmer’ seems a bit weak. Where her winning made to seem bleak. Works hard as any lover of the game. Wants to win just like every other big name. Two more reasons why goals help us sail. Even after coming back from a near fail.

Manuel first black to win gold. Hopes in swimming that’ll soon be old. Mohammad takes the bronze medal place. With Hijab-wearing scarf across her face. Has a lot to say about breaking thru noise. And how it took doses of poise. Some no’s that might make peeps fall. ‘Never been done before’ writings on the wall.

‘First-ever’ winners add discipline to the mix. Then build determination with the fix. Charting destiny to D-up dreams. On work or playtime teams. Knowing first-hand what it takes. To flame-up future fortunes & T-bone steaks. The grind of working through goals thick & thin. True for brothas or sistas on success spin.

Mohammad & Manuel might agree. Good things in life set talents free. Hoping to inspire and connect. With those in the city or urban Project. In finding love and drive to the end. Going where they don’t break but bend. Like Bolt, barrier breakers are better than average fare. By being known for the fruits they bear.


Tip: Barrier breakers change the game by being better than average fare in the fruits they bear.

Talkback: Is Bolt going to be the kind of legend like a Bob Marley?

Groove-Tracks: Mr. Vegas ft Shaggy – Sweet Jamaica –

Empire Cast ft Jussie Smollett & Yazz – Chasing the Sky –

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