These were some of the pressing questions raised at the Activate 2K14 Conference hosted by celebrity life coach and author Lucinda Cross. This conference, held at the New York Times Center in Manhattan, brought together dynamic industry leaders to help others activate into their next successful chapter in life. It empowered the audience to unapologetically pursue their passion and personal goals.
As a young professional, I’ve been attending these types of events with goals of meeting people and being inspired. Among the audience were business owners, entrepreneurs and young professionals like myself ready to soak in any advice that could apply to our personal and business development. Lucinda created an atmosphere filled with various panelists from different backgrounds.
The panelists and guest speakers included actress and television host Keke Palmer, actress and comedian Sherri Shepherd, Black Enterprise journalist Janell Hazelwood, personal development coach Nicole Roberts Jones, lifestyle expert Jen Groover, style expert Dawn Del Russo, “Love in the City” star Bershan Shaw, motivational speaker Samantha “Sammy D” Davis, and many other female professionals.
With many of us dealing with uncertainties about our purpose in life, it was great to hear from these successful panelists who shared their journey on how they’ve been able to overcome their hurdles. Here are a few things I took away from the discussion that I thought were worth sharing:
Develop your gift. There was a clear consensus among the panelists that we are all born with gifts, even though developing those gifts scares us. As mentioned by Cross “God has given you specific talents that are customized for you. Use them, increase them, leverage them, and activate them.” Don’t worry too much about perfection but focus on progress. Developing your gifts means venturing out, taking risks, and unleashing your inner champion.
Be Yourself/ Be Authentic. Be clear about who you are and what you want. We shine when we are being ourselves. Don’t be afraid to be yourself or you will burn out by being someone else.
Monetize your Passion. In order to monetize your passion, you must first know what they are, said journalist Janell Hazelwood and in order to do that we need to know what we are passionate about. Once you know what your gifts are, align your network and find out who can help you reach to the next level.
Empower others: Success is nothing if you can’t help someone else, said Yandi Smith. I could definitely attest to that, when you surround yourself with people who are as ambitious and supportive as you are, you have no choice but to succeed.
Observe your surroundings: Evaluate how you feel after hanging out with people. Do they make you feel, happy, sad or depressed? Positive energy creates all good things in your life
Hard times are only temporary: “A lot of times when we go through something, we feel like it’s going to last forever and ever and ever, and its truly only a moment, if you can realize that this pain is just a moment, everything from this point on is you allowing yourself to suffer.” — Keke Palmer.
Stay Focus: There will be times when things won’t go as planned, but you must remain focused. Persistence paves the path. Don’t ever give up!
Believe in yourself and be confident: There’s nothing wrong with backing up your skills with your confidence. Like Muhammad Ali would shout “The Champ is here” before entering the ring, sometimes you have to claim your journey even if it looks blurry