Winning: Expanding Your Mind



There’s a saying: “To get what you never had, you must do what you’ve never done.” And the dialogue we have is normally with the message of being fearless and taking risks. What we miss in that dialogue is how your mindset must change to attain what you never had. We must expand our minds so that we can have the fruits of our labor. One of the best ways to expand your mind is to use lateral thinking, reading aggressively, becoming a  journalist, and learning to think ahead. Let’s digest lateral thinking, shall we?


Lateral Thinking


Lateral thinking is when an assumption that most people believe is true is challenged, leading to a new line of thought that may not have been considered otherwise. It’s simply done by asking why. Asking questions is pivotal because it opens your thought patterns. Take the bull by the horns and ask what others don’t or won’t. Questions removes the block that keeps you in one mode of thought. It’s up to you to walk it out and discover another perspective. Lateral thinking puzzles are great at developing these skills. It may require a friend to help since you must figure out the answer by getting the responses to your questions.


Reading Aggressively & Journaling


It’s simple. Pick up a book and write. As you are reading the book, write down your thoughts, memories. Read a book from different people’s life experiences and live vicariously through their lens. Study great thinkers and innovators. Read about people who’ve done great things.


Think ahead


Knowing what may possibly happen and planning for it is a major feat. The better you are at it, the more successful you are. Get out your chess or checkers board. I happen to love Chinese checkers personally. Minesweeper or Two Dots. Spades and Rummy. Uno or Phase 10. The list continues on and on because it’s entails any way of working your mind to think ahead.


I’m going to add another: Think bigger!!!! Supersize your ideas. Go ahead, it’s free-ninety-nine!!!! Expand Your Mind!!!! Renovate, knock out the walls of your mind!!




A Dreamer is WINNER!

successAs children, we all may have had some pretty outlandish dreams right? Some of us wanted to be the next Michael Jordan, but realized that Space Jam wasn’t actually real and even MJ couldn’t fly. Some of us wanted to be the next Whitney Houston, but realized we couldn’t find a note any better than we could find a million dollars lying in the street. The more radical of us may have wanted to be unicorns, but that’s just not realistic… right? I hope you agreed!
But now, as young adults, we have some even bigger – more realistic – dreams. Some of us just want to be successful. To those I say….DREAM BIGGER! As our parents always taught us, there is NOTHING wrong with dreaming big. Even when you couldn’t make a layup, they encouraged you and told you that one day you would actually fly. Even when you screamed at the top of your lungs and couldn’t hold a note, they said, “You sound amazing.” And even though they knew that unicorns were fictional ideas that only existed in cartoons, stickers and backpacks, they still told you that – one day – you could be one. The moral to the story is….you can be whatever or whoever you want to be!

So, how do you even start to dream so big that it breaks your haters’ hearts?

1. Find that one thing that you do that makes your heart pound out of its chest! This is your passion and you should be doing whatever brings great joy to your life.
2. Assess your strengths and weakness. Find out what you do well and do it even better. See where you could improve and perfect it.
3. Research! Learn all there is to know!
4. Put your all into it. Everything you do from here on out, you have to give it 110%! If you don’t show that you believe in your dreams, then no one else ever will either.
5. Every day, take a small step towards making your dream a reality. Do at least one thing today! Two to four small steps can equal one large step. Just imagine the progress you’d make in a couple months or even a year.
6. Allow your haters to be motivation. NO ONE will believe in your dreams until they are a reality. Matter of a fact, they are going to try to deter you from trying to accomplish anything. They’ll throw everything your way to distract you from what you should be doing, but STAY FOCUSED!
7. Know that success is bound to happen. Stay motivated and don’t let the first four no’s stop you. Success won’t happen overnight, but your drive and hard work will speak volumes. If you have faith and self-confidence, success is inevitable.
8. Believe in yourself! Even if no one else does, you believe! “Don’t be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams.” –Unknown

Remember that a Dreamer is a Winner. Winners never stop dreaming and believers never stop #WINNING!!!



Key to Winning: Prove Them Wrong!

d500a6cba6e22b5e83f7cd6ba418c2caPeople will doubt you, say that your dreams are impossible and try to bring you down.

Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you. You should never feel obligated

to work for someone else’s approval. You will fail every time, it is just simply impossible to

do so.

The greatest motivation I have ever received was when someone who was extremely close

to me said that I was making a big mistake when I moved to Chicago to start

accomplishing my dreams. In that moment I could have allowed their words to hinder me;

but I chose to let their words light a fire under my ass to make sure that I proved them


One major key to winning is never allowing other’s opinions to stop or hinder you from

accomplishing your dreams. No matter how many times you fall and feel like you failed.

Get back up, dust yourself off, grab you dreams, and make them a reality.

Refuse to accept the words “You can’t”. Refuse to quit and always have the courage to

fight for your dreams. In those moments where you need an extra push to do so, watch this:

-Shaquan D. Gray

NO Limit!: W.O.W. Lemonade Series

Alas, there are only 2 days left in the month and Motivation May is slowly coming to a close. I find myself singing the lyrics to ‘End of the Road’, the oldie but goodie Boyz II Men song: “although we’ve come….to the ennnnnnd oooof the roaaad, I just caaaan’t letttt gooooo” Ok, Ok, Ok, I’ll stop. But there is a silver lining to all of this, as May draws to a close, June starts and so will a whole new theme filled month of inspirations, nuggets of wisdom and exceptional personal growth.

If you missed any of the Monday Empowerments you can check them out here:

On to the Women of Worth NO Limit! Lemonade Series Wrap-up…for the rest of the month the National Youth Pride Services (NYPS)/ Women of Worth (W.O.W.) program will be interviewing and highlighting African American women who have come from, grew up in or found themselves falling into adverse circumstances and despite their environment, have gone on to be successful in their own right.

So to all our readers and followers who are in similar circumstances and who believe they are doomed to meet and or repeat their parents walk of life or who think they have no future based on their environment, remember, your circumstances don’t define you! All it takes to succeed is a NO Limit mindset, determination and strong will. You can do or be anything you set your sights on so go out and break the mold!

Check out the first video here:
as Jasmine Frank kicks off our W.O.W. interview series by telling us her NO Limit Lemonade story and her thoughts on what NO Limit means to her.
“There are NO Limits! Anything that you want to do, you set your sights on it and you can do it” ~Jasmine Frank

NO Limit!: Dream The Im “Possible”

An Average person says, “That’s impossible” – Impossible: not able to occur, exist, or be done

An Awesome person says, “It’s Possible!” – Possible: able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or something

Overcoming the impossible takes 2 things: mind and heart. Every day we set limitations on ourself and our capabilities. But if you use your mind to envision the impossible and use your heart to make the impossible, POSSIBLE, you’ll realize that there are no real limits other than the ones that exist in your mind. So stop putting limitations on yourself, instead create standards, create goals, envision the impossible and then reach beyond that. Smash through the ceiling of impossibility!

Motivational Quotes on Dreaming the Impossible:

1. “Your goal must be your priority. Success won’t come if your dream remains a hobby.” ~Eric Thomas

2. “DREAM the Impossible, SEEK the Unknown, ACHIEVE Greatness” ~Unknown

3. “If you lIMIT your choices only to what SEEMS possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want and all that is left is COMPROMISE.” ~Robert Fritz

4. “The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.” ~Arthur C. Clarke

5. “If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are NO LIMTS. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go BEYOND them.” ~Bruce Lee

Each and every day remember this one thing, There are NO LIMITS! If you can DREAM it, you can ACHIEVE it.
Proverbs ch 23:7 – “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”.

Dream It (ET The Hip Hop Preacher):

NO Limits!: It’s A Mindset

How many of you are exactly where you dreamed you would be at this point in your life? How many of you woke up today and resisted getting up because you dreaded going into work? How many of you look forward to Friday and rebuke Monday? How many of you dream about what you want and who you could be only to wake up and continue to be exactly who you are?

If you fall into any or all of those categories, you’re not living life on your own terms.

To achieve greatness, you must have a NO Limit! Mindset. So keep these 10 things in mind:

1. “Rules” are for the people who made them

In life there are three types of people when it comes to rules:

Rule Makers – These people make and set the rules for everyone else to follow.

Rule Breakers – These are people who live to break every rule that has ever been made.

Rule Changers – These are the people who understand the rules, but know there has to be a better way to do things and they strive hard to find a better way of doing things to change the rules.

Which type of “Rule” person are YOU?

2. The only thing holding you back from anything is “You”

There are those people in this world who will always lay blame for every wrong in their life at the feet of something or someone else. Then there are those people who look internally.

If you want something in life, quit making excuses and Go Get It!! Don’t wait for someone or something to hand it to you, because that will never happen.

“Only you can hold yourself back. Only you can stand in your own way. Only you can help yourself.” – Mikhail Strabo

3. When you get knocked down (as we all do) get right back up and say “is that all you’ve got?”

Life is going to knock you down. Life isn’t going to be easy for you. You are going to have trials and tribulations in your life. You can either choose to be a victim and let that pull you down and kill you on the inside or, you can let that motivate you, make you stronger, and give you the intestinal fortitude you need to survive and win against all odds.

The choice is always yours to make.

4. Don’t let other’s define “You”

If you constantly live your life for your Dad, Mom, Sisters, Brothers, Wife, Husband, Kids, Grandparents, Friends, etc… “YOU” will never be happy in this life. Period.

It doesn’t matter what any of them tell you or say about you. If “you” don’t define who you are and what you stand for in this life YOU will never live your own life. People will always try to hold you down and try to keep you at their level. Don’t let them! Take charge of your own life and don’t ever forget that you are responsible for “you”.

5. Don’t expect anything from anyone but yourself

When it comes to getting what you want in life, you are the only person who you can truly count on in life. You are the only one who is responsible for your happiness. If you think other people or other things are going to bring you happiness or the things you want in life, you’re wrong.

Remember: “The only person or thing you are trying to be better than in this life is the person you were yesterday.”

6. Never quit on yourself

Basic human fact… People will quit on you. We are only human and there is only so much any person can take.

That being said and with this new knowledge why would “you” ever quit on yourself? It doesn’t matter how bad it gets, it doesn’t matter how alone you feel, it doesn’t matter if no one else believes in you or even likes you… Don’t EVER Quit On Yourself!!

And when you do find yourself in those dark moments (and they will happen) you look yourself in the mirror and repeat this:

“I will not quit on you ever!! I will not quit today or any other day!! This will not stop me!! I am here for a reason and I still have work to do!! I will not quit, EVER!!”

Say it until you believe it and know what you’re saying is true in your heart, mind and soul.

“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” – Jack Ma

7. Keep things simple

Why do we always have to make things so complicated? Any time you can break something down into smaller simpler pieces in your life, do it. You would be surprised at how much stress and pressure in your life would go away if you strive to make things simpler in your life.

8. When in doubt, take action

Some action is always better than no action at all. Most of us get stuck in life because we get wrapped up in this or that and once we get wrapped up in something we tend to forget to make any movement or any progress. If you’re scared of something, take action to overcome that fear. Don’t get stuck in life just because you are scared or refuse to take action. If you feel you should take action or think you should take action then DO IT.

9. Planning and taking action will help you destroy your fears

We all have fears and anyone who tells you they don’t is lying. One way to overcome your fears is to plan before hand what actions you will take when you’re afraid of something. When that fear does arise, and it’s ready to strike, you don’t have to sit, think or ponder about what you’re going to do because you already have the answer.

Believe in yourself, make a plan, then take action when it’s time.

10. Who has more “Heart” than you? … No One

Heart is what gets you out of bed in the morning when everyone else is still sleeping. Heart is what makes you get back up when you’ve been knocked down by life. Heart is what makes you look the doubters in the face and say “I Can, I Will, Watch me!” Heart is what separates the doers from the dreamers in this world. So live your life on your own terms.

There are no limits, just lack of will, vision and action

Credit: Chris Schenk

Watch The Eric Thomas NO Limit Video Here:

NO Limit!: What Is Yours?

What is your passion? What is your purpose? What goal do you aspire to achieve? Take your time, think about it and then write it down. Now, what is your limit? At what point do you allow the naysayers to effect your ability to succeed? At what point do you allow the pain to prevent you from moving forward? At what point do you allow your mind to cripple your advancement? At what point do you fall short of achieving your goal because you have allowed your brain to tell your mouth to say STOP?

Too often we stop short of our victory. We don’t push ourselves hard enough, we don’t work fast enough, we don’t think smart enough. We give into our mind and tell ourselves we’ve done enough, we can’t go on, there’s not enough time, I’m too old, too fat, too young, too thin, too this, too that and the list of excuses goes on. But if you continue to set limits for yourself, you will continue to fall short of your true capabilities.

If you want to achieve something, you must first learn to push yourself past the pain, push past the negative thoughts and the negative commentary. Push yourself harder, faster and further than you’ve ever pushed yourself before. And just when you feel like you have nothing left to give and your back is against the wall, ask your self one simple question: “what am I willing to sacrifice in order to achieve my goal?

Ultimately, you must be willing to push past your self inflicted limits to achieve your end result. Live Without Limits!

NO Limit!: The Empowered Woman

This month is Motivation May and today kicks off our May 2016 Life Development series: NO Limit!


This whole month is dedicated to women (yes you heard right!) because M flipped upside down is W (you know it was cute, go ahead and show those dimples). But seriously, our focus this month will be on the empowerment of women. Too often we hear about glass ceilings, stereotypes, the lack of gender equality and overall generalizations of how successful a woman can be in comparison to a man. So in this four part series, we will address some of these issues as well as encourage women everywhere to not allow themselves or their accomplishments to be limited by society or even their own negative thinking perpetuated by stereotypes.

There is absolutely no limit to how far you can go in life or how high you can climb up the success ladder. The only limit is the one you place in your mind. LimitsThe phrase “NO Limit!” emphasizes the fact that everyone can have the future they desire. No one should place limits on themselves or anyone else because of their circumstances, the circle of people they are influenced by or the general environment they find themselves in. We ALL have the power to rise above our circumstances.

What or who is an Empowered Woman do you ask?  To understand this question, we must first break down and explore the definition of an Empowered Woman:

Empower: to give (someone) the authority or power to do something

Woman: an adult human female

Strong Woman: an adult human female with a powerful will who has a desire or drive to do something

So based on the definitions above, we are able to now create our definition of what or who we feel an Empowered Woman is.

Empowered Woman: a strong and confident female in control of her life, who has the power to claim her rights and the desire and will to achieve her dreams

Want to know how you can achieve Empowered Woman status? Then check out: How To Be An Empowered Woman

Don’t fear fellas, you can read this article too so you know how to recognize an Empowered Woman!

Average Vs Awesome: Erase Excuses, Don’t Create Them

If-it-is-important-to-you-youll-find-a-way-if-not-youll-find-an-excuseWhat an amazing time we have had so far this month in this four part series on “Awesome Vs Average” – which one are you? Before we look at the final step to take for those who want to move from average (being like the majority of people) to AWESOME (being above average and reaching your full potential). The steps we covered were:

  1. Keep your word
  2. Show Me, Don’t Tell Me
  3. Your Network is Your Net Worth

And here we are with part 4: stop making excuses!


  • ALL successful people are busy (or they wouldn’t be successful)
  • Procrastination is the enemy of success
  • Disorganization is like a virus, it shows up everywhere unless you stop it.

People who do not understand – or accept these three facts are prone to rely on excuses. They will even come up with an excuse to explain why they need to use excuses.

The dictionary defines an excuse as :

a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.

Basically you are defending something you did , that you ultimately are responsible for. It’s a reaction to an action. And nine times out of ten, it’s not even the truth.

So how do you avoid having to lie, or make excuses?

Do exactly what you say you are going to do and if you can’t, let the person know well in advance. They will appreciate that more than the excuse.

Stop saying what you are going to do and just do it.

Keep people around that will hold you accountable, know more than you, and have accomplished something – preferably something you are trying to accomplish.


Average Vs Awesome: Your Network Is Your Net Worth

Part 3 of our series is written by Antorris Williams

The ability to network has proven to have valuable implications when invested in correctly. The power behind an individual or entity’s network can make or break a movement, perpetuate a vision or seemingly be used to determine net worth. Transitioning from “average to awesome” can be measured by understanding and living by the mantra “your network determines your net worth”.

Networking comes into play by using contacts, resources, and informational exchanges for the advancement of a project, program, career, movement, organizational vision or for a simple t-shirt order. Oftentimes average people operate by making simple transactions, taking extended paths to acquire material or having a “do it by myself” mentality. As a result, this mentality typically contributes to a lower success rate. Awesome people incorporate their network into their daily planning, acquisition and execution for higher rates of success with less liability or cost.

Conversations about networking remind me of my mentor’s tough lessons on leadership. People tend to enjoy the galore, impact, perks and risks of leadership. However, in his lessons he reminded me that “people support people”–not events or causes.  At first I did not understand, because I know I support endeavors sometimes without knowing the specific face behind it. His lesson continued with him saying that when people in your network or circle of contact believe in you–they support your cause. In return, they bring value to your network through their contacts, donations and support.

The second part of his message tied the value of networking to net worth. Awesome people understand that if you want to be a leader or “in charge” that you must have a network to match the pomp and circumstance and your hard work and plans. Average leaders give orders without any network reference that can help lighten the load, contribute money or give insightful feedback. The awesome leader, however, gives a vision, a template for the vision and contacts in a connected network to make the task executable.

From personal experience, conference planning is the perfect event to use in breaking down how an awesome person uses network to bring net worth and value to something. In giving a vision the chair must first lay the seed–be it with the initial leg work, soliciting of donations or something the showcases the power of his/her abilities via their network. The next step is simply meetings, phone calls, text messages and connecting.

Average vs Awesome
Part 3 of 4. Every Monday a new part!

For example, your college roommate owns a screen printer. You share his contacts with the souvenir kit committee member to get invoices after you have made initial contact with him. It is possible that you may receive a discount, partnership or sponsorship from the company, or free  items. In another area of conference planning, the leader may have a contact who builds websites, decorates banquets, or a celebrity friend who can host a party. After holding conversations with these individuals there is no telling what negotiations can take place. This networking connectivity has probably help cut corners, save dollars and achieve a new level of execution.  When the results reflect the benefits of networking, they also highlight net worth.

Networking in order to build associated net worth is simple. Have business cards, make phone calls, participate in events, attend lunch dates, send thank you notes, check-in randomly, support local and small businesses, use social media advantageously–and most importantly continue to maintain positive working relationships with the contacts in your network.

Being average is fine. You will live, possibly be happy and thrive; but being awesome is the one thing that will help a person rise up and be great. One of the key points to rising up and being awesome is placing emphasis on understanding that your “network determines your net worth”.

%d bloggers like this: