Today is the second post inspired from a conversation with Melinda Anderson @mdawriter and Lauren Michelle Allen @MichelleHux . Thank you again for the chance to get my thoughts out. If you want to see Part 1, click here
Be Honest: The worst thing you can do in any field of your life is lie. Lying doesn’t solve any problems and it just kicks the issue down the road. This also includes lying by omission. This may seem okay at first but when the lie is uncovered, things become even more difficult than they would have been if you faced them head on. Even if the answer, choice, or situation is not ideal, the opposing person can still respect your transparency. Honesty opens doors towards solutions. Trust in the truth.
I was told by an old man, “Real players don’t lie to they women. They give them the option and let them make the choice for themselves. If they are okay with it, you can live free without having to sneak around. Lying only makes things more difficult. Lying only really protects yourself and underestimates the person you are lying to.” I applied this to my friends and my relationships. It helped me attract some of the most consistent friends and happiest relationships in my life. Everyone knows what they are getting when they deal with you. Let them make the choice about what to do with you.
Utilize Your Resources/Network: You don’t have to be the smartest, strongest, fastest, or most likable in the world. All you need to do is pay attention to the people around you. Meet people. Talk to everyone and learn who they are. Then, allow people with certain skills to fortify you in those missing areas. In school, I was horrible in accounting but I sat next to the kid who just “understood” the material. He taught me the lessons when things went over my head and I he got to feel smart three times a week. It’s okay to celebrate people for their greatness.
Ask Questions: This is similar to the Speak Up tip, but I cannot explain to you how much asking questions can help. In conjunction with Networking. The best way to get on someone’s good side is to get them to talk about themselves. Ask questions from teachers, friends, family, strangers (be safe), and especially superiors. Many people in higher positions only want to feel like they are valued. Ask them questions and you will find yourself with more opportunities than you planned for.
Who you know: We’ve heard it said 1,000 times before that, “It is not what you know but who you know.” Everyday, I see this play out more in the real world. I have gotten opportunities that have changed my life by being a “good, friendly, hardworking, young man” and someone having a “friend” that is looking for someone for “something”. This all goes back to networking. I believe that college for African-Americans is approached backwards compared to other communities. White people spend more time learning how to socialize with each other and go on to a job by connections than things they learned in class.
Addiction is serious (Life in Moderation): With that said, be careful with drugs and alcohol. I will not act like you won’t experiment or “have a good time”. But, don’t go overboard. Too much of a good thing truly is bad for you. Plus, our family is no stranger to addiction (gambling, drugs, alcohol, etc.). Don’t run to alcohol, drugs, or sex when you are struggling because they don’t truly solve anything. Momentary release is cool but the issues return the moment you sober up. I don’t want to see you struggle with that.
Self-Actualization over Love: Love is patient; Love is kind…yeah, that’s great. But, don’t rush it. (Wo)Men will approach you of every color, creed, and nationality for the rest of your life. If they aren’t approaching you now, they will. Some may want your body, mind, pocketbook, or life. Many men and women will latch on to someone else’s success because they desire it. Take your time perfecting yourself. Figure out who you are and what things you like to do. Take time and be artistic: read, write, take photos, or play an instrument. Do something you were afraid to do because after a while, you’ll realize how many people are secretly wishing they were you. THEN, once you find out how to be happy by yourself, find a way profit off of that happiness. Love will be there when you finish.
Experiences over Objects: We attach a lot of worth to money and the things we can buy. We work 40 hours a week for a paycheck and waste most of it on things like TVs and clothes. After I’d given away the clothes and replaced the TV, I had very little to show from it. The thing that I spent the most money on, that left the biggest impact in my life, was a trip to Africa. I can tell stories from that adventure like it was yesterday. I remember the trips to cities I’ve never seen and shows with close friends. They will help you grow more than the clothes that will eventually collect dust in your closet.
24 hour Rule: One of the most vital lessons I’ve learned about relationships with others is to always approach them with a cool head. In the moment, we can be super upset and it will feel like the end of the world, but give it 24 hours. If you are still upset about something after 24 hours, that means it seriously bothered you. Then, it’s serious enough for you to address and the time away can give you clarity about the situation. But, if after 24 hours you are fine, let it go.
Thank God for Your Blessings: Daughter, Celebrate your successes. Embrace your beauty, strength, wisdom, and luck. But, know that you could easily have a much different life. God has saved me multiple times so that I could create you. Sometimes I feel like that was my true purpose, to be a conduit for His love for you. Thank God for His favor and blessings. If you get into a practice of looking for His blessings everywhere, He will reward you with even more.
I thank Him daily for you and you aren’t even here yet. Signing off for now. I love you. God Bless you.
What message who you leave for your children? If you don’t want kids, what lessons would you leave for the next generation? Anything you think you need to arm a black woman for success? This is only the beginning because I am still developing my thoughts about parenthood but anything that seems off or lacking? Let me know in the comments below.