Becoming Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey Isn’t Some Fairy Tale Story. It’s Real Talk on What it Means to Have a Be+ (Or Better) Lifestyle


The Fall season feels like it’s just about settling in across many states. Maybe the seasonal winds of change have been blowing briskly in your neck of the woods. Well the political winds seem to be blowing as well as many are gearing up for the mid-terms. The yard signs are already popping up on the block.

For Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, it’ a different kind of trade winds so to speak. The former First Lady is getting ready for her book release entitled ‘On Becoming Michelle Obama.’ With lots of national tour dates already sold out she’s sure to get fans talking about her good old days in the White House.

Obama has also been doing the media rounds on a Global Education Initiative for girls as well as the ‘When We All Vote’ effort. Both Obama and Oprah have been asked about running for office and said no. But their stories of achievement tell us something about what it means to have a Be+ (or better) lifestyle.


Whether as college student at night school or campaign worker on the trail the mid-terms can be one of anxiety or enthusiasm. It could bring a little stress before the test. But Obama & Oprah believe it could also be a time of great enthusiasm in doing what it takes to pass the test that positions us for success.

Obama hopes to share a similar message with young girls as they work on expanding their education. Of course in the case of Oprah, it’ something she’s been doing for years in her life’s work. They might also want other folks know that having a Be+ or better lifestyle towards living your best life means you have to:

  1. Be yourself (+conscious)

Oprah often says that if she weren’t an entrepreneur or media mogul she would likely be a teacher. In a sense she sees her true calling as one of sharing knowledge and ‘aha’ insights. Part of being herself means doing the best she can with what she’s been given. She’s also attuned in more conscious ways.

  1. Be clear (+care)

It’s one thing to see life as it is. It’s another thing to see it as it ought to be. Obama and Oprah help us do both. Over time in their professional lives they became clearer on who they are and what they wanted to achieve. They’re not only clear on these things but they also care about people and what matters most.

  1. Be ready (+resourceful)

Others have said that just showing up is half the battle of getting ahead. There’re times we might show-up as a spectator and there’re times we might show up as a game-changer. No matter the reason, we show-up ready for the fun or for making an impact. The difference in getting more done is being resourceful.

  1. Be sure (+secure)

There’s a feature in Oprah’s magazine called “What I know for sure.” It’s been turned into a book where she talks about some of her ‘sure’ experiences. We can be sure of some things like our age, height, color, weight, taxes and more. What we love about these ladies is that they’re sure and secure in such things.

Recently we learned that Oprah’s magazine got spun off into having its own online presence. That’s not just brand talk but also personal and professional talk. We go through similar Be+ stages as well. After all, we admire Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey for how they help us focus ‘on becoming’ and just be for real.

Tip: As you focus ‘on becoming’ what you envision in life you have to go through some Be+ stages towards having a secure lifestyle.

Talkback: What’s your favorite Obama style or Oprah moment?

Tracks: Amel Larrieux – For Real –

Des’ree – You Gotta Be (’99 Mix) –

Kevin Hart & Tiffany Haddish Turning the Comedy Biz Upside Down Like Two Night School Clowns


The news these days feel like things are spinning out of control. There’s Russia, Supreme Court and mid-term elections on people’s minds. Desperate times call for funny measures. Maybe that’s how Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish see things. They’re turning comedy upside down like two night-school clowns.

They’re busy doing the promo tour for their new movie Night School. Written and produced by Hart, he also plays a major role in the flick. Hart’s comedy tour has been selling out large venues like a Rockstar. He’s doing what it takes to ‘Hustle Hart’ with ‘laugh-out-loud’ projects that have social media on fiya!

They can point to a big-screen movie that helped raise their film cred. Hart played a key role in Think Like a Man while Haddish was the breakout star in Girls Trip. They’re learning from each other in their careers. We can do the same in watching how they act like a showbiz player and think like a first-rate brand.

Some say it’s their likeability that’s got fans over-joyed. A lot can be said about the ‘lead story’ of their lives. It’s what’s hot that leads news. But there’s something to their ‘real story’ that reveals what makes them winners. It’s the ‘hustle love’ for what they do that has fans feeling good through and through.

From some of Hart’s upbeat motivation posted on social media we get clues for what makes him tick. He might put it this way: “how you’re wired says something about how your goals and dreams get inspired, become reality and not get tired.”  But there’s more. Their media interviews show us how to:

  1. Laugh Away

For them it’s been a grind for many years on the comedy circuit. The art of telling jokes took time to fine-tune. But when the jokes are from their own life it comes across even more real. That’s why folks can laugh away through the ups & downs, good & bad, happy & sad, mess-ups & fess-ups of celebrity life.

  1. Press play

Hart and Haddish have a way of making the serious funny and the funny serious. They ‘play with it’ which makes their unique flava get fans over the blues. There’s an element of play in their work that might fool you on the surface. But behind the scenes major biz moves are happening on speed dial.

  1. Earn that pay


Haddish says she’s been learning a lot from Hart about how to grow her brand. It’s about finding new and innovative ways to ‘monetize the fun.’ Maybe what Hart has been able to show her is how the marketplace works to earn that pay in business-to-business and business-to-consumer dollars.

  1. Make someone’s day

A few years back, Hart heard that one of his fans who was a school bus driver was suspended for taking a selfie with him. When word got back he made a short video to the fan’s employer asking that she get her job back. Some of their authentic appeal is in making someone’s day along the way.

It’s as if they’re wired with a laugh-track mind. Plus, Hart’s school of success says to block out the noise to become your best self. Haddish jokes about feeling like Oprah’s voice plays in hear head as she gets up out of bed. They know even if you’re not taken seriously at first or seen as a threat, let folks see you as an asset.

Tip: Not everybody can sellout stadiums like a Rockstar. But at least with some ‘hustle love’ we can ‘press play,’ earn that pay and make someone’s day.

Talkback: Is Katt Williams still hating on Tiffany Haddish or did Kevin Hart put him in his place?

Tracks: Jason Derulo – In My Head –

The Ojays – For the Love of Money –

Hoda Kotb & Lionel Richie Make the Dream Stage Look Like a Place Where They Belong


The stage has been set with the return of American Idol’s rollout. A new slate of judges hit the road for the audition tour. Lionel Richie joins Katy Perry and Luke Bryan to give their two cents on making it in the music business. Richie as the elder of the bunch seems happy to share a hug with the contestants.

The Today Show studio was also set for the return of Hoda Kotb from the Winter Olympics. While doing the show from South Korea the studio got a makeover as they moved on from headline-making changes. Kotb got the nod as co-anchor, rising up the ranks from correspondent to guest-hosting duties.

Kotb and Richie make the dream stage look like a place where they belong. These days it’s where they’ve landed as they keep getting better at their game. It’s a kind of coming together of fate and focus that has helped to make them a force. Kotb even has things falling in place for her as a new mother.

The dream stage is where passion and style can leave us speechless for a while. The stories of Idol contestants create room for Richie to show some love. Plus, the performances are often reminders that it’s not just how they sing it or wing it but also how they bring it. Kotb can relate even for Olympic athletes.


Some industry watchers weren’t sure if Idol still had cred in the marketplace. Others weren’t sure if the Today Show would have staying power after the shake-up. But Richie and Kotb are showing young and old otherwise. Their stories of longevity and bounce-back-ability in the business are a case of turning:

  1. Talent into a unique identity

Richie first gained popularity as one of the Commodores. The group became a smash with R&B audiences. He later left the group for a solo career. He knows bringing it in your game means turning talent into a unique identity. In biz they call it USP – Unique Selling Point. My own USP is about ‘bringing more flow to life, putting more life in flow.’

  1. Timing into seizing opportunity

Kotb might not have been expecting to be named new Today Show co-host. She already had a hosting role in the ten o’clock hour where she’d be seen sipping on wine. But when the door came open she was ready to seize the opportunity. Timing isn’t just about the clock but also about delivering the right stock.

  1. Talk into more life-learning ability

Some Idol contestants show up ready to seize the opportunity. Some may be there to checkoff a bucket list item. Others are just there to get 15-seconds of buzz. But in any effort for going to the next level, the ones who move from unknown to making it on the dream stage are those who up their life-learning ability.

  1. Test into rising star-quality

When you hear the backstory of these contestants you get a sense of them taking-on life’s tests. It’s as if life was trying to separate the ‘men from the boys or the women from the girls.’ Making it on the dream stage is about using those tests to shape your unique identity and rising star-quality.

The numbers are in and Idol’s season opener pulled 10 million+ viewers. It seems the Today Show is also keeping its numbers strong. Most people start the dream journey unaware or less learned in some area of the game. But they push, pull or tear as they stretch their sail towards good times that never felt so good.

Tip: Making it on the dream stage is about how we push, pull or tear in stretching our sails towards good times that never felt so good.

Talkback: Which Singing Competition Show has created some of the best rising-star moments?

Tracks: Commodores – Sail On –

Allen Stone – Unaware –

Tiger Woods Not Ready for the Major Greens While Jane Pauley’s Back on TV Screens #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)

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at age 83 is back on the Supreme Court. She ruffled some feathers over the summer but is trying to lay low. Also back is Jane Pauley as new host of CBS Sunday Morning. While Pauley is good for another round on TV, Tiger Woods says he’s not ready for a major golf tournament.

In a statement to fans Woods said “I will continue to strive to be able to play tournament golf. I’m very close, taking my game from the range to the course is the final hurdle, and with your continued support, I know I’ll get there.” He’s ready to get his groove back, but it’s gonna take more than a finger snap.

It’s getting kinda hectic as Woods went from top ranking to complete halt. But he’s pumped about taking his mojo from lame to game by not feeling defeated. After working day and night on his swing he hopes to return to past performances. He’s patiently focused on having power and magic again.

Pauley has had media ranking slips and slides too. In her mid-twenties she landed the co-host spot on NBCs Today Show. Since leaving the show there’ve been some lows and highs along the way. Now forty years later she’s got her groove back in a role that feels like going from last to having a wide-cast.

Pauley said to an AP writer “I was told that the word most consistently associated with my name was ‘authenticity.’ If they had said anything else, I would have gone ‘pooh.’ But authenticity? I said, ‘Yeah!’ For better or worse, I just didn’t know how to be anything but myself.” No matter what, that works every time.

Groove-Track: Snap – The Power –

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

Justin Ginsburg’s back on the block. Trying not to say anything to shock. Supreme Court back in session. A few ruffled feathers but still a lesson. Jane Pauley also on the upswing. CBS Sunday Morning her new thing. Good enough for doing TV again. While Tiger Woods not ready for stellar career to end.

Saying to fans in a statement online. Continuing to strive as health is fine. Not able to play the big game yet. But no need for folks to fret. Getting closer to go from range to course. That’s coming from him the main source. Ready to cross the hurdle, reinvent and rise. With a snap, crackle and pop surprise.

Gettin’ kinda hectic around here. Woods’ ratings went from top to fair. Now rough and ready to take his mojo. From scratch to hatch or lame to game flow. Working day and night on his swing stroke. Making sure his performance is woke. Focused on getting back the power. With game-time magic at any hour.

Pauley’s seen her own media slip. As rankings slide and a network skip. In her mid-twenties being Today Show host. Something she might cherish the most. Lows and highs along the way. Now she’s back on CBS Sunday. Forty years later taking on new role. From last to wide-cast, feeling good in her soul.

Pauley tells AP writer. How she kept going as a fighter. Word most used to describe her then and now. Was one of authenticity worn on her brow. If anything that hit her happy spots. For better or worse to connects the dots. No matter what it works every time. Mark her words for dropping wisdom and a dime.


Tip: The best way to reinvent your game and rise just the same is letting authenticity be the major reward.

Talkback: How much longer will it take before Tiger Woods gets his golf groove back?

Groove-Tracks: Snap – Kid Cudi – Day & Nite –

Katy Perry – Rise  –

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

@Adele & @Pharrell Make Passion seem Effortless and Collaboration Look Priceless! #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 ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

The holiday season is about to jump-off. There’re ‘Black Friday’ sales all over the place. Between holiday concerts and showbiz Award events, artists are getting ready to bring their A-game. Maybe some should look to @Adele & @Pharrell for how they make passion seem effortless and collaboration look priceless.

Pharrell hosted the ‘Shining a Light’ concert and Adele did the Today Show. She once said in a memorable quote “I make music to be a musician not to be on the cover of Playboy.” That’s key for those who wonder why some people get more ‘play’ on the job, or thanks from mgmt for customer service work.

When performing she does it with ease and he with ‘executive swag.’ Their music connects with the masses without feeling mass-produced. Their performances and press appearances have enough vision to serve a broader mission but enough ‘play’ to get the creative juices flowing and fans cheering.

They have something in common off stage and behind the scenes. It’s a kind of quirky cool that as kids might have been picked-on by others. But their success tells us that a quirk doesn’t make someone a jerk as long as it’s put to good use at work. Quirks can be an asset, becoming part of our working facet.

Many love the fact that no matter how high-up in job title or on the pop music charts, they’re still relatable to everyday people. That common touch helps Adele boost airplay and album sales and attracts emerging artists to him on The Voice. Adele and Pharrell are at their best when they’re like one of us.

Groove-Track: Arrested Development – ‘Everyday People’ –

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

Holiday season about to be poppin’. Black Friday sales to start the shoppin’. Between concerts and Hollywood Award shows. That’s kinda how this season flows. Where artists A-game gets moving. And concert fans get grooving. Adele and Pharrell make it effortless. With collabs that are simply priceless.

Hosted ‘Shining a Light’ fundraiser. He was a sure crowd pleaser. Adele had Today Show audience packed. She draws a crowd, that’s a fact. Once said musicianship is her thing. Not trying to be a Playboy fling. That’s key for getting more ‘play’ at work. Or thanks from mgmt as a good customer service clerk.

When they’re in action it’s a thrill. With ease they execute their skill. Music that connects with the masses. Good for clinging the champagne glasses. Performance and appearance with enough vision. To achieve a broader service mission. Enough ‘play’ and creative juices running. And fans at their loudest humming.

Something in common off stage. Behind the scenes or from a young age. Kind of quirky cool as a kid. Maybe picked-on so they hid. But a quirk doesn’t make you a jerk. As long as it’s put to good use at work. Becoming a secret weapon or hidden asset. Also part of your biz brand facet.

Many love that no matter how high. Job title and music charts isn’t their why. They still come across really relatable. To showbiz execs and everyday people. A common touch in what they do. Helps boost sales and attract artists too. At their best when in their lane. They’re one of us even with the mundane.


Tip: As passion gets your creative juices flowing, collaboration gets your working partnerships growing.

Talkback: What’s the hot holiday gift people are talking about this season?

Groove-Tracks: Andra Day – “Cheers to the Fall” –


Stacy Barthe – ‘You Wonder Why?’ –

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

Bear Grylls and President Obama Step-out the Bubble to Leave a Mark in the Wild – #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?


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

It’s not often that people get to hang-out with Kings and Queens. That’s usually reserved for folks in high standing. Then there’s Bear Grylls who gets to bond with celebrities around survival skills. He and President Obama stepped-out ‘the bubble’ to send a message to D.C. and leave a mark in the wild.

In a clip on from his show Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Obama is heard saying “This has got to be one of the best days of my presidency. First of all, I’m not in the office. Second of all, I’m not in a suit.” It’s a case of them making a point about wildest dreams by stepping out their comfort zone.

On the show celebrities take a discovery journey. They build confidence and after a while things happen less by chance and more by choice. Overcoming a challenge in the office or the wild is good for leaving a mark or being unbreakable. Plus, a sense of purpose helps with ‘leaving marks before the concrete dries.’

Grylls turned his early career as an SAS soldier into a Reality TV Adventurer. Much of his claim to fame is with beating common fears, taking climbs and surviving the wilds. For him, stepping out the bubble at work is fun, like playing with plastic wrap. Squeeze here before the popping champagne sound you hear.

He says to the British Telegraph “I don’t believe we’ve begun yet. I still think we’re at ground zero, and if we really get our act together over the next few years we can build that into an absolutely huge, huge business around the world.” Obama wants to build a legacy and Grylls wants to build outdoor adventures.

Groove-Track: Michael Jackson – ‘Unbreakable’ –

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

Not often people change shoe strings. Or hangout with Queens and Kings. Left for folks in high standing. Or others with social ranking. There’s Bear Grylls who gets to bond. Around survival skills with peeps he’s fond. Grylls and Obama step-out the bubble. Sends message to D.C. leaving marks in the rubble.

As seen in clip. He and Obama take a trip. On Running Wild with Bear Grylls. Obama seemed open to new thrills. Sees it as a best day in office as president. Part of being a Beltway resident. This time he’s not in a suit. Making a point without horns to toot. Stepping out comfort zone to bear fruit.

On show celebs take journey of discovery. Building confidence in their ability. Like fire under the feet as a test. Success less by chance but choice and zest. Getting over challenge in the office or wild. Good for adult and adventurous child. Leave a mark or be unbreakable. A purpose like concrete that’s unshakable.

Grylls began career as a soldier. Now Reality TV’s freelance Adventurer. Claim to fame is beating common fears. Surviving climbs past mud, sweat and tears. Stepping out the bubble is like playing. With plastic wrap found in packaging. Squeeze here to sound the pop. Champagne flows and you don’t stop.

Telling British media it’s just the start. Of what he wants to do worlds apart. Hoping to go from ground zero. To renowned survivalist hero. Thinking this could become huge venture. An enterprise in global outdoor adventure. So while Obama works to build a legacy. Grylls hopes to build skill-set supremacy.


Tip: Wildest dreams start by stepping-out the comfort zone and building acclaim in skill-set supremacy.

Talkback: How would other politicians do if they were to appear on Running Wild?

Groove-Tracks: Leona Lewis – ‘Fire Under My Feet’ –

Anthony Hamilton – “Comin’ From Where I’m From” –

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

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Breakup Gives New Meaning to an Economic Paradigm Shift


Theme:– Operation J.U.M.P. For Jobs, Justice & Unsung Dreams

It seems in the space of one week we went from relationship hookup to relationship breakup (not with the same couple). First it was news of NBCs Savannah Guthrie tying the knot and adding that they’re expecting. But it’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s breakup that’s giving new meaning to an economic paradigm shift.

After 10 years of marriage to musician Chris Martin, Paltrow announced that they’re parting. It’s not the first time that celebrities have called it quits. But it’s the first time that a separation has been referred to publicly as a “conscious uncoupling.” Who knew that there was a more sophisticated way to say divorce?

Apparently, while the term is new to the cultural zeitgeist, it’s not new to the marriage therapist who coined the phrase. The idea is to approach the separation with mutual respect and human sensibilities. This way they can minimize the level of feelings getting hurt and pocketbooks getting burnt.

Wouldn’t it be nice if another approach were to be tried when dealing with the long-term unemployed? They have been experiencing a job market separation for a long time. Operation J.U.M.P. might call it a “conscious re-coupling” into the job market where they can re-connect with a sense of economic worth.

For Paltrow and Martin things are coming to a bitter-sweet end. So their “conscious uncoupling” will hopefully make the money decisions less painful. In the case of the long-term unemployed they’d like to see an economic paradigm shift that moves their self-worth from “bitter-sour to dollars per hour.”

Footnote: Operation J.U.M.P. is a new sophistication in human resources that provides a social change and empowerment approach of advancing public policy initiatives and professional incentives for jobs, justice and unsung dreams.