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Posts Tagged ‘help’

Getting There: Tavaghn “Montsterr” Monts Speaks Part I

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on April 17, 2010

Getting There is a series featuring interviews from Generation Y young people who are breaking stereotypes and not only working hard to achieve their own definition of success but working to improve the lives of others around them.

Among other professions Tavaghn “Montster” Monts is Vice President of My Life Keys where he works as a Motivator and Life Coach. He has built a strong network leveraging his ability to relate with his target audience through consistent, branded messages on Twitter. If you’re living under a rock, Twitter is a social networking tool that allows people to connect with one another in a vastly more efficient manner than Facebook. Showing his prowess, Tavaghn does more than share what he’s eating for breakfast, offering ways in which his followers can “Motivate Your Motivation” through the “#MYM” hashtag.

In the video below he answers the following questions:

Many famous stars attribute their success to knowing exactly what they wanted to do or be when they were a child. Did you know what you wanted to do or be at a young age?

Sometimes our true gifts are hidden to us and are only revealed after someone who believes in us points them out. Did you see your gift, or did someone help you to identify it?

Authority figures can have a positive and/or negative influence on our lives. Did anyone in a position of authority over you try to steer you away from your dream? If so, how did you recover? If not, how did you fight their negativity?

Can you talk about the important decision you made that impacted your life? Why did you make that decision? How did you feel then compared to how you feel now? Was it worth it?

Continue to Part II

Posted in Advice, Guest Posts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Eureka! I Found My Motivation!

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 16, 2010

Now that I knew my problem was a lack of motivation, I set forth trying to determine what would motivate me. Some people are motivated by “haters”; others are motivated by family. The one thing most of these forces have in common is that they are external forces. Well, I am not motivated by external forces. I didn’t grow up feeling the need to be successful in order to prove something to someone who didn’t believe in me. Nor did I feel pressure to be the future caretaker of the family. Consequently, I developed a highly independent nature, relying on research, deductive reasoning, and some common sense to influence my mindset.

The benefits of being highly independent are clear when it comes to problem solving. You learn how to become resourceful when in need of answers to puzzling questions. I began by asking my friends on social networks and in real life what motivates them. Popular responses included faith, a desire to succeed and bills. In Socratic fashion, I pursued further, unsatisfied with the responses. Every self help book, article, and quote about motivation gives those responses and still people get stuck in the mire of mediocrity. I needed to know what it was about having faith, a desire to succeed, or bills that spurred these people into action; and, not just action, but progression towards goals that they found intrinsically connected them to their inner being.

Far too many people are on paths defined for them. Maybe my Generation Y status gives me a proclivity for idealism, but I believe it necessary to a happy life. Essential to it is defining your own path that connects you to your own spirit. This is not about religion. Connecting to your spirit is about finding who you really are, what you really want to be, and developing a conviction to hurdle over any obstacle that enters your lane. Some people know this, though, and still can’t make the connection. Some people need to start at the beginning by analyzing themselves. If you don’t know what road you should be on, do the following:

  1. Ask yourself what brings a smile to your face
  2. Write it down
  3. Ask yourself what you find yourself talking about all the time
  4. Write it down

After you’ve done these things, you will see a pattern emerge. Somewhere in this list is your career. If you already know what you would do with the rest of your life but can’t get yourself motivated to do it, then you are in the position I was in not too long ago. After talking to people about their motivation and reading through multiple articles and quotations, I realized the secret to finding your motivation has nothing to do with you. Everyone who appears to have a special gift to succeed is only successful because they are motivated by their desire to be of service to others.

Cosmopolitan magazine, Sean Combs, and John Mayer all list multiple motivators. Cosmo suggests that the emotion of envy is an indicator of lack and desire. We become envious of what others have only when it is something that we desire in our own lives. This desire to have what others have is mistaken as a good motivator because it appears to be a catalyst for action. What if you feel undeserving of what others have but still want it? That feeling of being unworthy will kill any desire. In an interview with Playboy Magazine, John Mayer stated the following:

PLAYBOY: So you’ve lost the motivation of playing music to meet girls.

MAYER: If I was playing it so I could meet hot chicks, I’ve met hot chicks, quote unquote. If I was playing it to make a ton of money, I’ve made a ton of money. If I was playing it to be well-known, I am well-known. Once you put aside girls and money, it forces you to realign your motivation for being a musician. Now I’m not a have-not but a have. Which is interesting, because music has to come from a have-not sort of place. And there are many places where I have-not.

PLAYBOY: What motivates you now?

MAYER: My motivation is to prove people wrong, to confuse them. I enjoy the challenge—I must be addicted to the challenge. I’ve gone from being a musician to being a celebrity. And when people do that, their work usually suffers. There are tunes on Battle Studies that are more applicable to other people’s lives than anything I’ve ever written before. This whole time I’ve stayed vulnerable, stayed frustrated, stayed confused. This record is the trade-off to having sort of brutalized myself for a few years. So if people see that over the past couple of years I actually got a firmer grip on writing songs about the ups and downs of life, they might go, “How did he have the time to make a record? Was he writing ‘War of My Life’ in the middle of me thinking he was a douche bag? Did I ever actually know him? Maybe he’s a pretty solid guy.”

John Mayer started his career motivated by women and fame, but he has those now. Without those to serve as motivators, what keeps him interested in playing music? Somewhere in there is a desire for people to be less judgmental. I suggest John Mayer lose the motivation to prove people wrong and write music that allows him to reconnect with his true self – the good guy with the best intentions. Sean Combs has said that his mother served as his main inspiration to become the media mogul that he is today. I’d like to ask him what keeps him motivated now that he can provide everything for her.

I’ve come to realize where my motivation comes from, how I obtained it, and how I will keep it. My hope is that by reading this, you will develop your own realization. My goal is to help you get there from here.

Posted in Advice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Am I Really Ready for Success?

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 4, 2010

Are you ready for the good life?I was talking to a friend and even through a text message my friend could tell that something was bothering me. I went on to tell how I felt trapped by my circumstances. Some might call what I am experiencing a quarterlife crisis. Circumstances surrounding the incompletion of my higher education have me living at home, working two part-time jobs, and wishing that things could have just been different. What do I want from my life? I want the success that I can see is on the horizon; and, I want it now. I want to move out. I want the life that other people younger than me have. I know I shouldn’t compare my journey to anyone else’s, but I am so so so so so so tired. Mediocrity is exhausting. Then, my friend asked me how I was going to get what I want. My answer: I don’t know.

Every day I’m reminded of how much I want my life to be different. Every time I get on the bus, watching the unwed pregnant teenagers, having to drown out the derogatory tunes emanating from the iPod 5 feet away from me, dodging the smokers’ spit puddles, I say I can’t do this anymore. Then, I wake up and do it all over again the next day. We all know the definition of insanity, right? That’s it. That’s what it is. I’m insane. I must be to want something better for myself, to be able to see it, and to not be trying ridiculously hard every day to achieve it. What is wrong with me? Then, I wondered, “Am I really ready to receive all that I want? Am I really ready for success?”

Stay tuned for the next post in this series on how I started moving towards getting what I want.

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Posted in Advice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

She’s so “Precious” – A Review

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on November 26, 2009

Precious, her mom, and her daughter

Upon entering the theater I felt nerves and anticipation coursing through my body. I expected to cry. I expected to feel anger and helplessness. I did, indeed, feel all of those emotions; but, I also felt more emotions than I expected inspired by the people around me and their comments. The experience of watching Precious has likely strengthened my resolve to tell my story. Not because anyone can do it if Precious did it, but, because, it will be my red scarf handed down to the little girl who feels all alone in the world.

Prior to viewing this movie, I read tweets from people who refused to see it, from those who saw it and were deeply touched, and from those who opined on the gross amount of racial stereotypes. Of those who refused to see it, many found fault based on the previous work of the people responsible for bringing the film to the big screen: Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry, and Oprah Winfrey. Words and phrases such as “coonery” and “typical black girl from the ghetto” were common in their complaints. Of those who saw it and were unimpressed, this tweet speaks volumes: “Whoeva suggest anyone too see this movie “precious” need to kill urself….dis givs black familys a bad look smh.” Please don’t listen to this person. I could cry peeling back the layers of disillusionment and incongruity present in that one allegorical onion. What came first: Precious or the Black Family?

This movie was adapted for film by Lee Daniels based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire. It is a first person narrative dictated to us by Clarice “Precious” Jones. Walking through the streets of Harlem with a scowl on her face and the weight of years of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse on her shoulders, she tells us the story of her life in such a manner that it prompted one viewer behind me to say, “This is realistic. I like it.” A concise and accurate statement, it is the reason to see the movie.

In the afore-mentioned tweet we see a common model for behavior in (Black) families. What goes on in the house, stays in the house; and, this is a thread that runs throughout the movie, as well. From the outset, we see Precious avoiding the truth and refusing to tell her story, petrified that her mom would kill her. Meanwhile, her mom continues to call her a fat ass, tells her that she’s a dummy, education won’t help her, she’s a nobody, and she should rely on a welfare check to get by in life. These are the racial stereotypes that people are afraid to see. They don’t want people to know what is said in their homes. Well, maybe what is said should change. It’s just a theory. A theory that “Precious” is attempting to make a practice.

In one form or another everyone can relate to her story. We have all either been the abuser or the one abused in some way. Other comments heard around me include: “Is that really how big she is?” “She looks like a boy. She looks like Eminem.” “Y’all ain’t right.” The second comment was directed to Mariah Carey’s performance as a social worker. Without her glamorous hair and makeup team, Mariah looked like an average woman, but it prompted someone to call her a boy. Worse, her friends laughed and made other jokes about her appearance, causing one girl (the only big girl in the group) to casually denounce their behavior. It is this casual accusatory tone that encourages the abuse. It is not seen as something that is really bad behavior. If she were to leave the theater and discontinue the friendship, she would be blamed for taking herself too seriously. “It’s just a joke” they might say. Well, Precious didn’t take it as a joke when she smacked her classmate for calling her fat.

The tagline for the movie is: “Life is hard. Life is short. Life is painful. Life is rich. Life is….Precious.” Does it have to be this way, though? We’re so busy preparing each other for the “real world” that we forget to take care of each other. We forget to love. We forget to be the models of good behavior that we actually seek in others. Life is not some made up entity that comes out of nowhere to do us harm. Life is people. We are the creators of Life. If our lives are so rich and precious, why do we choose to de-value it?

Posted in Media Analysis, RandomThoughtOftheDay | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

What You Can Learn From Working In Retail

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on November 13, 2009

At the pay desk

Retail – It’s a thankless industry. Between the elitist customers who look down on you for being a lowly salesperson and the family that does the same, you can begin to feel like you’re wasting your time in a position that has no potential to help you in your professional life. Well, you’re wrong. If you’ve been trying your best to get a so-called real job but feel that all you can get is retail, consider yourself lucky because you are now privy to the best on-the-job training for which you will not have to pay.

Your time spent on the floor of your retail store will give you countless hours of access to sensitivity, anger management, and customer service training while, also, developing your social skills, exposing you to deductive reasoning, working with a team, and developing your confidence. If you think these attributes are not important to your professional life, then re-read the skills and requirements that employers are looking for in their job ads.

You will begin to notice that people have a tendency to repeat certain actions. Take notice of these patterns because they can offer much insight. What follows is a list of some behaviors that you should take with you into your professional and personal life.

Read the fine print
When something is on sale, most companies list all of the exclusions in their marketing. This is the same for companies outside of the retail industry. Read through paperwork. Ensure you have full knowledge of what you are entering into. Don’t sign something without this knowledge.

Ask proper questions
Sometimes you can’t answer something for yourself, and you need help. It is perfectly acceptable to ask someone who is more knowledgeable about the subject for assistance. However, they cannot read your mind. “You know what I mean” will not always work. It is best to be clear on what you need so that the other person can adequately and efficiently serve your needs. Give the person clues to help them understand what you need.

Help yourself first
When was the last time you walked into a store that had no marketing, no price labels, and no item descriptions? Not recently, I would bet. How often do you bypass the marketing, price labels, and item descriptions to ask someone what’s on sale, how much something is, or what something is, though? In retail as in life, signs and labels are around to help you help yourself. People are much more willing to help you find a solution to your problem when it appears as though you have taken the initiative to educate yourself on the matter from the outset without expecting that you are entitled to receive the answers from someone else.

Double Check
You were taught this lesson in school. People make mistakes, but agreeing to their mistake will cost you in the end. After you have helped yourself, asked the proper questions, and read the fine print, ensure that all of the facts and figures are correct before signing your name.

Just because it’s on the front table doesn’t mean it’s for you
The first thing that you see is not always the solution to your problem. If you’re allergic to wool, would you buy a sweater without checking the fabric label? In the professional world it is necessary to dig deeper. Guarantee that you have fulfilled your needs before walking away.

Posted in Advice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »